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Serum iron and zinc concentrations fell early after exposure of volunteers to live attenuated Venezuelan equine encephalomyelitis virus vaccine, with a rise in serum copper concentrations. Alterations in these serum metal concentrations were significantly different from changes expected on the basis of day-to-day variability differences among individuals. The prospective nature of this study and the rapid development of altered serum metal metabolism, even in exposed subjects who remained asymptomatic, suggest that the changes in these metals in the prodromal period represent an early host response to the presence of invading microorganisms. In those subjects who developed febrile illness, the responses became exaggerated and appeared to be related in timing and magnitude to the onset and severity of the febrile reaction. These changes may have significance in providing new approaches to diagnosis and to an improved understanding of host metabolic responses during infectious illness.
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Accepted: May 26, 1970
Received: October 20, 1969
☆These studies were conducted in conjunction with a continuing program for development and testing of vaccines against acute infections and were supervised by the Commission on Epidemiological Survey of the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board.
© 1970 Published by Elsevier Inc.