Childhood Malnutrition and Enteric Infections
Linda Saif from Ohio State University in the U.S. will develop a pig model to recapitulate the vicious cycle of malnutrition and repeated enteric infections seen in young children in developing countries in order to study the underlying biology and identify effective treatments. Childhood malnutrition is rife in impoverished regions, and causes substantial mortality and disabilities. It impairs gut function and immunity, and leads to increased enteric infection rates. They will explore the relationship between malnutrition and enteric infections using piglet models of malnutrition and multiple pathogen-associated enteropathy, and analyze the effects on the cellular and microbial composition of the gut, and the immune response. They will also test whether specific diets and supplements such as tryptophan can restore healthy gut function.