Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Burden and aetiology of diarrhoeal disease (GEMS)

Main findings from GEMS (the Global Enteric Multicenter Study) have just been published in the Lancet, along with a commentary. The GEMS study enrolled thousands of children with and without diarrhea from Kenya, Mali, Mozambique, The Gambia, Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan. The researchers found that most cases of moderate/severe diarrhea can be attributed to four pathogens: rotavirus, Shigella, cryptosporidium, and enterotoxigenic E. coli (ST-ETEC). Notably, at least one enteric pathogen was identified in the stool of 72% of control children (compared to 83% of cases), suggesting high prevalence of asymptomatic infections. Co-infection was also common, with two or more pathogens detected in 45% of cases and 31% of control children.  

The release is also covered in The New York Times:

GLOBAL HEALTH: 4 Germs Cause Most of Infants’ Severe Diarrhea

A study pinpoints just four microbes as the most common causes of
severe and fatal diarrhea among the world’s infants.

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