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Absence of significant association of trace elements in nails with urinary KIM-1 biomarker among residents of Addis Ababa in Upper Awash Basin, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Michaela Goodson, Professor Claire Walsh



This is the authors' accepted manuscript of an article that has been published in its final definitive form by Springer Nature , 2022.

For re-use rights please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.


© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. The Akaki River in the Upper Awash Basin, which flows through Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, has been highly polluted by sewage from factories and residential areas. A population-based cross-sectional study was used to assess the association between trace elements and kidney injury from residents living in polluted areas downstream (Akaki-Kality) versus upstream (Gullele) in Sub-Cities of Addis Ababa. A total of 95 individuals (53 from Akaki-Kality and 42 from Gullele) were included in the study. Kidney injury molecule 1 (KIM-1), lead, arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, lead, manganese, zinc, iron, copper, chromium and nickel were evaluated in residents’ urine and nail samples. A large proportion (74%) of the sample population contained KIM-1, including 81% residents in Akaki-Kality and 64% residents in Gullele. KIM-1 was, however, not significantly different (p = 0.05) between the two Sub-Cities, with median of 0.224 ng/mL in Akaki-Kality and 0.152 ng/mL in Gullele. Most of the analyzed elements, except Pb, As, Cd and Co, were found in all of the nail samples, with median (µg/g) in the range of 442‒714 Fe, 97.0‒246 Zn, 11.6‒24.1 Mn, 4.49‒5.85 Cu, 1.46‒1.66 Cr and 1.22‒1.41 Ni. The high incidence of KIM-1 indicates a potential for long term renal tubular damage among residents of the Sub-Cities. The concentrations of the elements in nails were, however, not significantly associated (p = 0.05) with the corresponding levels of KIM-1 in urine. Hence, the observed KIM-1 might be related to exposure to toxic substances or factors other than those included in this study.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Dessie BK, Mehari B, Osman M, Gari SR, Desta AF, Melaku S, Alamirew T, Goodson ML, Walsh CL, Zeleke G, Mihret A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: BioMetals

Year: 2022

Volume: 35

Pages: 1341–1358

Online publication date: 27/09/2022

Acceptance date: 17/09/2022

Date deposited: 19/12/2022

ISSN (print): 0966-0844

ISSN (electronic): 1572-8773

Publisher: Springer Nature


DOI: 10.1007/s10534-022-00448-8

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/4145-2p28

PubMed id: 36163536


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