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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Financial support: The MAL-ED is carried out as a collaborative project supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institutes of Health, Fogarty International Center. While conducting this work, Natalie Exum was supported by The NSF IGERT Grant 1069213, The Osprey Foundation of Maryland Grant 1602030014, the Johns Hopkins Water Institute, Johns Hopkins Fisher Center Discovery Program Grant 010 KOS2015, The Kazuyoshi Kawata fund in Sanitary Engineering and Science, and the Dr. C. W. Kruse Memorial Fund Scholarship.
© 2018 by The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.