Document Type



Paediatrics and Child Health


Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED), a syndrome characterized by chronic gut inflammation, contributes towards stunting and poor response to enteric vaccines in children in developing countries. In this study, we evaluated major putative biomarkers of EED using growth faltering as its clinical proxy. Newborns (n = 380) were enrolled and followed till 18 months with monthly anthropometry. Biomarkersassociated with gut and systemic inflammation were assessed at 6 and 9 months. Linear mixed effects model was used to determine the associations of these biomarkers with growth faltering between birth and 18 months. Fecal myeloperoxidase (neutrophil activation marker) at 6 months [β = -0.207, p = 0.005], and serum GLP 2 (enterocyte proliferation marker) at 6 and 9 months [6M: β = -0.271, p = 0.035; 9M: β = -0.267, p = 0.045] were associated with decreasing LAZ score. Ferritin at 6 and 9 months was associated with decreasing LAZ score [6M: β = -0.882, p < 0.0001; 9M: β = -0.714, p < 0.0001] and so was CRP [β = -0.451, p = 0.039] and AGP [β = -0.443, p = 0.012] at 9 months. Both gut specific and systemic biomarkers correlated negatively with IGF-1, but only weakly correlated, if at all with each other. We therefore conclude that EED may be contributing directly towards growth faltering, and this pathway is not entirely through the pathway of systemic inflammation.


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