Optimal dietary metal ion uptake and its role in protection against childhood bacterial disease

Chief Investigator:

Dr Bart Eijkelkamp

Funding Amount:



The University of Adelaide


Nearly 2 billion people worldwide have a poor zinc status and in the Western world childhood zinc deficiency is on the increase due to unhealthy diets and obesity. The immune system utilizes zinc and copper as antimicrobials to combat infectious diseases. This places children with a poor zinc status at increased risk of infections by widely abundant childhood respiratory pathogens such as Streptococcus pneumoniae. Although zinc deficiency has previously been associated with increased disease burden, the role of zinc and copper as antimicrobials during infection remains unknown.

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