Cessation of exclusive breastfeeding and seasonality, but not small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, are associated with environmental enteric dysfunction: A birth cohort study amongst infants in rural Kenya.
Crane RJ., Parker EPK., Fleming S., Gwela A., Gumbi W., Ngoi JM., de Laurent ZR., Nyatichi E., Ngari M., Wambua J., Uhlig HH., Berkley JA.
Background: Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED) is a chronic intestinal inflammatory disorder of unclear aetiology prevalent amongst children in low-income settings and associated with stunting. We aimed to characterise development of EED and its putative risk factors amongst rural Kenyan infants. Methods: In a birth cohort study in Junju, rural coastal Kenya, between August 2015 and January 2017, 100 infants were each followed for nine months. Breastfeeding status was recorded weekly and anthropometry monthly. Acute illnesses and antibiotics were captured by active and passive surveillance. Intestinal function and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) were assessed by monthly urinary lactulose mannitol (LM) and breath hydrogen tests. Faecal alpha-1-antitrypsin, myeloperoxidase and neopterin were measured as EED biomarkers, and microbiota composition assessed by 16S sequencing. Findings: Twenty nine of the 88 participants (33%) that underwent length measurement at nine months of age were stunted (length-for-age Z score