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Biomarker Discovery for Environmental Enteric Dysfunction Diagnosis in Women

Laeticia Toe of the Institut de Recherche en Sciences de la Sante in Burkina Faso will use a metabolomics profiling platform to identify new biomarkers that can be used to diagnose environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) in women of reproductive age. EED affects nutrient absorption and immune function and may cause adverse birth outcomes in pregnant women. It is widespread in deprived areas in low- and middle-income settings but is often undiagnosed because the gold-standard diagnostic method requires an invasive procedure by trained personnel. They will determine the prevalence of EED by performing ELISA on existing plasma, serum and stool samples from 80 women of reproductive age living in rural Burkina Faso. They will then apply untargeted metabolomics on the samples to identify biomarkers that can be integrated with inflammatory markers and sequencing data and cross-validated for large-scale diagnoses of EED in women from low-resource settings.

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