Zinc-sepsis

Zinc as an adjunct for the treatment of very severe disease in young infants

Severe infections, including sepsis and severe pneumonia, contribute to almost one quarter of the deaths

in infants up to two months of age. This is despite available – although not always accessible – antibiotic

therapy, and the problem is likely to be aggravated as antibiotic resistance continues to spread. In a recent randomized controlled trial in India, which was anchored at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), CISMAC researchers found that a daily dose of zinc given to infants aged 7 to 120

days under antibiotic treatment for probable serious bacterial infection increased the success of treatment by 43%. The trial was not powered to estimate the effect of zinc on their risk of dying. With collateral funding from RCN’s GLOBVAC programme, we are now undertaking a much larger trial, this time in infants younger than two months of age, also with clinically suspected sepsis. Enrolling 4.140 children, this trial is powered to estimate the efficacy of zinc to improve survival rates when it is given in addition to antibiotics. The trial is being undertaken in three hospitals in Nepal and four hospitals in New Delhi with CISMAC partners THSTI in India and the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

 

Being used routinely for treatment of children with diarrhoea, zinc is widely accessible; it is also very cheap. Should the adjunct zinc treatment prove to be effective in increasing the survival chances of these vulnerable babies, our study will provide important evidence for improving the treatment guidelines for sepsis, thereby contributing to enhanced survival of young infants in LMIC.

 

PMT: Sudha Basnet / Nitya Wadha / Tor A. Strand
Countries: India and Nepal

Zinc as an adjunct for the treatment of very severe disease in young infants

Severe infections, including sepsis and severe pneumonia, contribute to almost one quarter of the deaths

in infants up to two months of age. This is despite available – although not always accessible – antibiotic

therapy, and the problem is likely to be aggravated as antibiotic resistance continues to spread. In a recent randomized controlled trial in India, which was anchored at the Translational Health Science and Technology Institute (THSTI), CISMAC researchers found that a daily dose of zinc given to infants aged 7 to 120

days under antibiotic treatment for probable serious bacterial infection increased the success of treatment by 43%. The trial was not powered to estimate the effect of zinc on their risk of dying. With collateral funding from RCN’s GLOBVAC programme, we are now undertaking a much larger trial, this time in infants younger than two months of age, also with clinically suspected sepsis. Enrolling 4.140 children, this trial is powered to estimate the efficacy of zinc to improve survival rates when it is given in addition to antibiotics. The trial is being undertaken in three hospitals in Nepal and four hospitals in New Delhi with CISMAC partners THSTI in India and the Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

 

Being used routinely for treatment of children with diarrhoea, zinc is widely accessible; it is also very cheap. Should the adjunct zinc treatment prove to be effective in increasing the survival chances of these vulnerable babies, our study will provide important evidence for improving the treatment guidelines for sepsis, thereby contributing to enhanced survival of young infants in LMIC.

 

PMT: Sudha Basnet / Nitya Wadha / Tor A. Strand
Countries: India and Nepal