1921
Volume 93, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645

Abstract

Abstract.

Undernutrition is estimated to be an underlying cause of over half of all deaths in young children globally. There is a growing body of literature suggesting that increased exposure to enteric pathogens is responsible for environmental enteropathy (EE), a disorder associated with impaired growth in children. To determine if household unsanitary environmental conditions were significantly associated with EE and stunting in children, we conducted a cohort of 216 children (≤ 30 months) in rural Bangladesh. Stool was analyzed for four fecal markers of EE: alpha-1-antitrypsin, myeloperoxidase, and neopterin combined to form an EE disease activity score, and calprotectin. We observed a significant association between having an animal corral in a child's sleeping room and elevated EE scores (1.0 point difference, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.13, 1.88) and a two times higher odds of stunting (height-for-age z-score < −2) (odds ratio [OR]: 2.53, 95% CI: 1.08, 5.43) after adjusting for potential confounders. In addition, children of caregivers with visibly soiled hands had significantly elevated fecal calprotectin (μg/g) (384.1, 95% CI: 152.37, 615.83). These findings suggest that close contact with animals and caregiver hygiene may be important risk factors for EE in young children. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that unsanitary environmental conditions can lead to EE in susceptible pediatric populations.

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Erratum

  • Received : 03 Nov 2014
  • Accepted : 20 Apr 2015
  • Published online : 05 Aug 2015

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