Campylobacter infection major cause of stunting among children: Study
Researchers have found in a new study conducted in Bangladesh that Gastrointestinal infection with Campylobacter plays a major role in the stunting of children in urban set up. The new research has been published in the journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.
The dual burden of enteric infection and childhood malnutrition continues to be a global health concern and a leading cause of morbidity and death among children.The researchers examined longitudinal data to evaluate the trajectories of change in child growth, and to identify associations with Campylobacter infection and household factors.
According to WHO, Campylobacter diarrhoea's duration and possible complications makes it highly important from a socio-economic perspective.The bacteria Campylobacter is transmitted through contaminated food and drinks and can lead to severe diarrhoea. Infections of Campylobacter in children under the age of two years are especially frequent in developing countries.
Campylobacter infection is a gastrointestinal bacterial infection that is widespread, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Children in poor living conditions are particularly at risk for infection and are often also suffering from poor linear growth or stunting.It may result in neurodevelopmental delays and metabolic disorders later in life.According to the UN Children's Fund approximately 144 million children are stunted globally.
The Investigators examined longitudinal data to evaluate the trajectories of change in child growth, and to identify associations with Campylobacter infection and household factors. The study analyzed data from 265 children participating in the MAL-ED Study in Mirpur, Bangladesh. They applied latent growth curve modelling to evaluate the trajectories of change in children's height, as measured by length-for-age z-score (LAZ), from age 0–24 months. Asymptomatic and symptomatic Campylobacter infections were included as 3- and 6-month lagged time-varying covariates, while household risk factors were included as time-invariant covariates. Maternal height and birth order were positively associated with LAZ at birth. An inverse association was found between increasing age and LAZ. Campylobacter infection prevalence increased with age, with over 70% of children 18–24 months of age testing positive for infection. In the final model, Campylobacter infection in the preceding 3-month interval was negatively associated with LAZ at 12, 15, and 18 months of age; similarly, infection in the preceding 6-month interval was negatively associated with LAZ at 15, 18, and 21 months of age.
The researchers also found that dration of antibiotic use and access to treated drinking water were negatively associated with Campylobacter infection, with the strength of the latter effect increasing with children's age.
The researchers concluded that Campylobacter infection was found to have a negative impact on linear growth in children between 12–21 months of age. Stunting is a complex problem related to conditions of poverty, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, concludes author. "This includes inadequate nutrition and poor environmental conditions that may result in infectious disease, which negatively affects linear growth."
For further reference log on to:
J. Johanna Sanchez et al. Campylobacter infection and household factors are associated with childhood growth in urban Bangladesh: An analysis of the MAL-ED study, PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases (2020). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0008328