Selenium and vitamin E status: impact on viral pathogenicity

J Nutr. 2007 May;137(5):1338-40. doi: 10.1093/jn/137.5.1338.


Selenium (Se), an essential trace element, and vitamin E, a lipid soluble antioxidant, are important mediators for protection against oxidative stress. Recent work has demonstrated that deficiencies in either Se or vitamin E result in increased viral pathogenicity and altered immune responses. Furthermore, deficiencies in either Se or vitamin E results in specific viral mutations, changing relatively benign viruses into virulent ones. Thus, host nutritional status should be considered a driving force for the emergence of new viral strains or newly pathogenic strains of known viruses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Selenium / deficiency*
  • Trace Elements / deficiency*
  • Viruses / genetics
  • Viruses / pathogenicity*
  • Vitamin E Deficiency*


  • Antioxidants
  • Trace Elements
  • Selenium