Zinc supplementation in the management of shigellosis in malnourished children in Bangladesh

S. K. Roy, R. Raqib, W. Khatun, T. Azim, R. Chowdhury, G. J. Fuchs, D. A. Sack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the impact of zinc supplementation on clinical recovery, weight gain and subsequent growth and morbidity in moderately malnourished children with shigellosis. Design: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Setting: Dhaka hospital of ICDDR,B: Centre for Health and Population Research, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Subjects: Fifty-six moderately malnourished children, aged 12-59 months with culture-proven shigellosis. Methods: Subjects were randomly allocated to receive zinc (20mg/day elemental) in multivitamin syrup (intervention) or multivitamin syrup without zinc (control) in two equally divided doses daily for 2 weeks. All children received pivmecillinam in a dose of 15mg/kg every 6h for 5 days. After supplementation, children were followed in their respective homes every 2 weeks for 6 months. Results: Children receiving zinc recovered from acute illness significantly faster than the control children (P<0.05). The medians time (days) to recovery and disappearances of blood and mucous were significantly 50% shorter in the zinc-supplemented group compared to the control group. The mean body weight of zinc supplemented children increased significantly from 8.8kg on admission to 9.2kg (P<0.01) at recovery, which was not observed in the control children (from 9.3 to 9.6 kg; P=0.12). During the 6-month follow-up period, zinc-supplemented children had significantly fewer mean episodes of diarrhoea compared to the control children (2.2 vs 3.3; P=0.03). Conclusion: Zinc supplementation significantly shortens the duration of acute shigellosis, promotes better weight gain during recovery and reduces diarrhoeal morbidity during the subsequent 6 months.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)849-855
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research protocol/activity/study was funded by United States Agency for International Development (Grant no. HRN-A-00-96-90005-00) and Swedish Agency for Research Co-operation with Developing Countries (Sida/SAREC Agreement support; Grant 20002-2004). ICDDR,B acknowledges with gratitude the commitment of USAID and Sida/SAREC to the Centre’s research efforts.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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