Imbalance of Antioxidant Enzymes Activities and Trace Elements Levels in Ghanaian HIV-infected Patients

PLoS One. 2019 Jul 24;14(7):e0220181. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0220181. eCollection 2019.


Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and antiretroviral therapy (ART) have been associated with high oxidative stress in HIV patients. The disparity in antioxidant-oxidant levels in HIV patients favours viral replication and disease progression. This study aimed at determining the effect of ART on antioxidant enzymes activities and trace elements levels in Ghanaian HIV patients. A total of 242 participants; comprising of 105 HIV-infected patients on ART, 77 HIV-infected ART-naïve, and 60 HIV seronegative controls were recruited for the study. Whole blood was collected and used for haematological profiling, and the determination of CD4+ counts, superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity and trace element levels. Serum was used for liver function tests and the determination of glutathione reductase (GR) activity, and plasma was used to estimate reduced glutathione (GSH) levels. Low levels of haemoglobin (HB), hematocrit, mean cell volume (MCV) and mean cell hemoglobin (MCH), and trace elements were found in ART-naïve patients compared to those on ART and the seronegative controls. In the ART-naïve patients, glutathione reductase (GR) activity and reduced glutathione (GSH) level were significantly low compared to patients on ART and seronegative controls. Activity of SOD was significantly reduced in ART-naïve patients compared to those on ART and the control group, and manganese is the only trace element that showed a strong negative correlation with SOD activity and a positive and significant correlation with CD4+ count, and therefore needs to be investigated further. The study suggests that assessing antioxidant levels or enzymes activities of patients infected with HIV should be considered during therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • CD4 Lymphocyte Count
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Glutathione / blood
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / blood*
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism
  • Glutathione Reductase / blood*
  • Glutathione Reductase / metabolism
  • HIV
  • HIV Infections / blood*
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Superoxide Dismutase / blood*
  • Superoxide Dismutase / metabolism
  • Trace Elements / blood*


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents
  • Antioxidants
  • Trace Elements
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Superoxide Dismutase
  • Glutathione Reductase
  • Glutathione