Guided by the immune system, researchers have identified types of gut bacteria in young children in Malawi that are linked to nutritional health and that have diagnostic and therapeutic implications for childhood undernutrition.
The research, led by Jeffrey I. Gordon, MD, at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, is published Feb. 25 in Science Translational Medicine. The work, funded largely by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also involved scientists at the University of Malawi in Africa, University of Tampere in Finland and University of California, Davis.
Tens of trillions of microbes live in the gut, where they synthesize vitamins and process nutrients in the diet to keep the body healthy. These microbes and their genes, collectively known as the gut microbiota, begin to colonize the intestinal tract at birth.
Featured article originally published at Washington University Newsroom: Gut microbes targeted for diagnosis, treatment of childhood undernutrition