Volume 98, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Poor child gut health, resulting from a lack of access to an improved toilet or clean water, has been proposed as a biological mechanism underlying child stunting and oral vaccine failure. Characteristics related to household sanitation, water use, and hygiene were measured among a birth cohort of 270 children from peri-urban Iquitos Peru. These children had monthly stool samples and urine samples at four time points and serum samples at (2–4) time points analyzed for biomarkers related to intestinal inflammation and permeability. We found that less storage of fecal matter near the household along with a reliable water connection were associated with reduced inflammation, most prominently the fecal biomarker myeloperoxidase (MPO) (no sanitation facility compared with those with an onsite toilet had −0.43 log MPO, 95% confidence interval [CI]: −0.74, −0.13; and households with an intermittent connection versus those with a continuous supply had +0.36 log MPO, 95% CI: 0.08, 0.63). These results provide preliminary evidence for the hypothesis that children less than 24 months of age living in unsanitary conditions will have elevated gut inflammation.

[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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Supplemental Table

  • Received : 13 Jun 2017
  • Accepted : 08 Dec 2017
  • Published online : 12 Feb 2018

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