image of Baseline Characteristics of Study Participants in the Early Life Interventions for Childhood Growth and Development in Tanzania (ELICIT) Trial
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Recurrent enteric infections and micronutrient deficiencies, including deficiencies in the tryptophan–kynurenine–niacin pathway, have been associated with environmental enteric dysfunction, potentially contributing to poor child growth and development. We are conducting a randomized, placebo-controlled, 2 × 2 factorial interventional trial in a rural population in Haydom, Tanzania, to determine the effect of 1) antimicrobials (azithromycin and nitazoxanide) and/or 2) nicotinamide, a niacin vitamer, on attained length at 18 months. Mother/infant dyads were enrolled within 14 days of the infant’s birth from September 2017 to September 2018, with the follow-up to be completed in February 2020. Here, we describe the baseline characteristics of the study cohort, risk factors for low enrollment weight, and neonatal adverse events (AEs). Risk factors for a low enrollment weight included being a firstborn child (−0.54 difference in weight-for-age -score [WAZ] versus other children, 95% CI: −0.71, −0.37), lower socioeconomic status (−0.28, 95% CI: −0.43, −0.12 difference in WAZ), and birth during the preharvest season (November to March) (−0.22, 95% CI: −0.33, −0.11 difference in WAZ). The most common neonatal serious AEs were respiratory tract infections and neonatal sepsis (2.2 and 1.4 events per 100 child-months, respectively). The study cohort represents a high-risk population for whom interventions to improve child growth and development are urgently needed. Further analyses are needed to understand the persistent impacts of seasonal malnutrition and the interactions between seasonality, socioeconomic status, and the study interventions.

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


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  • Received : 10 Dec 2019
  • Accepted : 21 Jun 2020
  • Published online : 10 Aug 2020
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