ZIDOVUDINE
ZOONOSIS
zidovudine An
antiretrovira drug,
for-
merly known as azidothymidine or
AZT,
that is used in combination with other
antiretroviral drugs to slow the progres-
sion of
AIDS.
The principal aim of
antiretrovirals is to keep viral replica-
tion to as low a level as possible for as
long as possible; they do not constitute
a cure. Zidovudine was the first drug to
be introduced to combat
HIV
infection.
Possible side effects of zidovudine
include
anaemia
, which may be severe
enough to require a blood transfusion,
nausea, loss of appetite, and headache.
Zidovudine also impairs the absorption
of
trimethoprim
and sulfamethoxazole,
the antibiotic drugs used to treat pneu-
monia in people who have AIDS, thus
reducing the effectiveness of these drugs.
ZIFT See
zygote intrafaiopian transfer
zinc A
trace element
that is essential for
normal growth, the development of the
reproductive organs, normal functioning
of the prostate gland, healing of wounds,
and the manufacture of
proteins
and
nucieic acids
in the body. Zinc also con-
trols the activities of more than 100
enzymes and is involved in the func-
tioning of the hormone
insuiin
.
Particularly rich sources of zinc include
lean meat, wholemeal breads, whole
grain cereals, dried beans, and seafood.
Zinc deficiency is rare. Most cases occur
in people who are generally malnour-
ished. Deficiency may also be caused by
any disorder that causes
maiabsorption
;
acrodermatitis enteropathica
; or by in-
creased zinc requirements due to cell
damage (for example, as a result of a
burn or in
sickle cell anaemia).
Symp-
toms of deficiency include impairment
of taste and loss of appetite; there may
also be hair loss and inflammation of
the skin, mouth, tongue, and eyelids. In
children, zinc deficiency impairs growth
and delays sexual development.
Prolonged excessive intake of zinc may
interfere with the intestinal absorption
of
iron
and
copper
, leading to a defi-
ciency of these minerals.
Zinc compounds, such as
zinc oxide
,
are included in many preparations for
treating skin and scalp disorders.
zinc oxide An ingredient of many skin
preparations that has a mild
astringent
action and a soothing effect. Zinc oxide
is used to treat painful, itchy, or moist
skin conditions and to ease the pain
caused by haemorrhoids and insect
bites or stings. It also blocks the ultra-
violet rays of the sun (see
sunscreens
).
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome A rare
condition characterized by severe and
recurrent
peptic ulcers
in the stomach,
duodenum, and jejunum (the 2nd part
of the small intestine). Zollinger-Elli-
son syndrome is caused by 1 or more
tumours in the
pancreas
that secrete
the hormone gastrin. Gastrin stimulates
production of large quantities of acid by
the stomach, which leads to ulceration.
The high levels of acid in the digestive
tract often also cause diarrhoea.
The tumours are cancerous, but of a
slow-growing type. If possible, they are
removed surgically.
Proton pump inhib-
itor
drugs are given to treat the ulcers.
zolpidem A drug used in the short-term
treatment of
insomnia.
Zolpidem has a
brief duration of action and causes little
hangover effect. Side effects include diar-
rhoea, nausea, and dizziness.
zona pellucida The thick, transparent,
noncellular layer that surrounds a devel-
oping egg cell in the ovarian follicle. At
fertilization
, the zona pellucida is pene-
trated by at least 1 sperm.
zoonosis Any infectious or parasitic
disease of animals that can be transmit-
ted to humans. Unlike many disease
organisms, zoonotic organisms are flex-
ible and can adapt themselves to many
different species.
Zoonoses are usually caught from ani-
mals closely associated with humans,
either as pets, food sources, or scaven-
ging parasites, such as rats. Examples
include
toxocariasis
,
cat-scratch fever,
some
fungal infections
,
psittacosis
,
bru-
cellosis
,
trichinosis
,
and
leptospirosis
.
Rabies
can infect virtually any mammal,
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