The American journal of clinical nutrition

Plasma free amino acid concentrations in healthy Guatemalan adults and in patients with classic dengue.

PMID 11237944


Plasma free amino acid patterns in health and disease have been reported. However, amino acid concentrations in adult populations in developing countries and in patients with dengue, as a model for an acute infectious viral disease endemic to the tropics, have not been reported. The purpose of this study was to determine the amino acid profile in both healthy Guatemalan adults from different socioeconomic backgrounds and at 3 time points during the course of classic dengue. The study was carried out in Guatemala and included measurement of plasma free amino acids in 22 healthy control subjects (14 low income, 8 middle class) and 17 febrile patients. Measurements of amino acids were repeated within a 48-h interval in 20 of the healthy Guatemalans. In 9 patients with dengue, amino acids were assayed 3 times: on admission to a local hospital in the coastal plain of Guatemala, on hospital discharge, and 7 d after hospital discharge. Branched-chain amino acid concentrations in healthy adults and dengue patients in Guatemala were lower than normal values reported in the literature for healthy Swedish adults. With the exception of increased phenylalanine concentrations and an increased ratio of phenylalanine to tyrosine, all amino acids as well as the Fischer molar ratio were decreased in the acute phase of dengue. Healthy Guatemalans have different amino acid patterns than do Swedish subjects independent of socioeconomic status. The systemic viral disease dengue is associated with changes in the plasma free amino acid pattern, reflecting infection-related alterations in amino acid metabolism.