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Biochemical assessment

IZiNCG Practical Tips for collecting blood in the field for assessment of plasma or serum zinc concentration

IZiNCG Practical Tips for collecting blood in the field for assessment of plasma or serum zinc concentration

The second edition of IZiNCG Practical Tips: Collecting blood in the field for assessment of plasma or serum zinc concentration is now available on our website.

The document briefly covers the following topics:

  • Precautions to prevent transmission of infectious agents when handling blood samples 

  • Practices and supplies to avoid zinc contamination of samples 

  • Tips for blood collection technique 

  • Tips for processing samples 

  • Tips for aliquoting of samples in the field laboratory 

  • Tips for sample analyses 

  • Information on reference laboratories

  • Tips for statistical analyses 

  • List of trace element-free blood collection supplies 

  • Image examples of field laboratory hoods

  • Example laboratory protocols for the analysis of plasma/serum zinc by flame atomic absorption spectrophotometry and inductively coupled plasma–optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) 

Please contact IZiNCG with any questions or comments regarding this brief.

New IZiNCG technical brief: The value of measuring plasma or serum zinc concentrations in national surveys

New IZiNCG technical brief: The value of measuring plasma or serum zinc concentrations in national surveys

“Micronutrient deficiencies are estimated to impact a significant number of people around the world, but there remains far too little information on micronutrient status and deficiencies. More essential information and surveillance need to be gathered to make substantial progress on global targets.” 

Global Nutrition Report 2018

There is an urgent need for more and better data on the zinc status of vulnerable populations to effectively target and monitor zinc intervention programs. IZiNCG’s new Technical Brief no. 9 outlines the value of measuring plasma/serum zinc concentration in national nutrition or health-related surveys. If a population is considered at high-risk of zinc deficiency based on inadequacy of zinc in the food supply or a high prevalence of child stunting, IZiNCG recommends that plasma/serum zinc be measured in vulnerable groups.

We are pleased that plasma/serum zinc data are now included in the World Health Organization’s Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Information System Micronutrient Database and have partnered with the Micronutrient Forum to initiate a working group to promote the inclusion of micronutrient biomarkers in large-scale surveys. 

For more information about the measurement of plasma or serum zinc concentrations, refer to previous IZiNCG Technical Briefs and Technical Documents, and the Biomarkers of Nutrition for Development (BOND) - Zinc Review.