The Nutrition Innovation Lab focuses on two research questions in Sierra Leone:
1. What is the level of environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) among children with moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) in Sierra Leone assessed using fecal markers of inflammation?
2. What is the microbiota profile of children with MAM in Sierra Leone? How does the microbiota profile of children with MAM compare to their healthy counterparts?
EED is a chronic condition of the small intestine widely prevalent in developing countries. Recent studies have shown an association between EED and child growth. Few biomarkers of EED are suitable for field research, with novel markers such as the fecal protein markers of inflammation explored in a variety of settings. The relationship between EED and MAM is a largely understudied area, which the NIL aims to provide evidence for by answering the aforementioned research questions.
These research questions are examined in collaboration with the USAID-funded Food Aid Quality Review Phase III, Four Foods Study, Environmental Enteric Dysfunction Sub-Study. The Four Foods Study provides one of four supplementary foods to children 6-59 months of age with moderate acute malnutrition in Pujehun District of Sierra Leone.
The Environmental Enteric Dysfunction Sub-Study examines levels of EED through four different methods including fecal protein markers of inflammation (Alpha-1-Antitrypsin, Neopterin, and Myeloperoxidase), and the microbiota profile of children with and without moderate acute malnutrition.
Four Foods Study Office