The acute-phase response is a well-known reaction of the body to infections and inflammations. Its main purpose is the defense of the body. During inflammation among many other metabolic effects in general many nutritional biomarkers in plasma are decreased. Causes and consequences of the observed transient decrease of e.g. retinol and carotenoids as well as their transport proteins during inflammation are not known. It can be assumed that chronic inflammations might be associated with a functional nutrition deficiency.
Our current interest is focused on this aspect with regard to the differentiation between acute and chronic processes such as sepsis and diabetes in cooperation with clinical partners.
Because of the frequent occurrence of inflammatory insults, in developing countries it is of additionally importance to discriminate between a decrease of these micronutrients in plasma due to a nutritional deficiency or due to an infection. These aspects are addressed in cooperation with partners in Africa (Cameron) and Asia (Thailand).