Volume 97, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Exposure to profound adversity can negatively affect the neurodevelopment of children, but biologic mechanisms that underlie this association remain unknown. We sought to determine whether elevated levels of the inflammatory markers C-reactive protein (CRP) and soluble CD14 (sCD14) are associated with neurodevelopmental outcomes in Bangladeshi children. A total of 422 infant–mother pairs from an urban slum in Dhaka, Bangladesh were enrolled at birth and followed prospectively. Inflammation was measured with sCD14, interleukin (IL)-1β, and IL-6 at 18 weeks, and CRP at 6, 18, 40, and 53 weeks. Psychologists assessed cognitive, language, motor, and social emotional development using the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development at 78 and 104 weeks of age. We tested for the association of inflammatory markers with developmental outcomes, independent of previously identified associations such as malnutrition, family income, and maternal education. Every 10 pg/mL increase in sCD14 was associated with a 1.1–2.0 decrement in cognitive and motor scores at 78 weeks and in all domains at 104 weeks. The cumulative number of CRP elevations that a child experienced in the first year of life, as well as IL-1β and IL-6 at 18 weeks of age, were also negatively associated with Bayley Scales results. CRP, sCD14, IL-1β, and IL-6 were associated with lower neurodevelopmental outcomes. Our findings implicate a role of inflammation in the neurodevelopment of children growing up in adversity.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 04 Feb 2017
  • Accepted : 28 Apr 2017
  • Published online : 17 Jul 2017

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