Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 37623969
Link to DOI – 10.3390/pathogens12081009
Pathogens 2023 Aug; 12(8):
Environmental Enteric Dysfunction (EED) is an associate driver of stunting in poor settings, and intestinal infections indirectly contribute to the pathophysiology underlying EED. Our work aimed at assessing whether enteric viral carriage is determinant to stunting. A total of 464 healthy and asymptomatic children, aged 2 to 5 years, were recruited, and classified as non-stunted, moderately stunted, or severely stunted. Among the recruited children, 329 stool samples were obtained and screened for enteric and non-enteric viruses by real-time polymerase chain reaction. We statistically tested for the associations between enteric viral and potential risk factors. Approximately 51.7% of the stool samples were positive for at least one virus and 40.7% were positive for non-enteric adenoviruses. No statistical difference was observed between virus prevalence and the growth status of the children. We did not find any statistically significant association between viral infection and most of the socio-demographic risk factors studied, except for having an inadequate food quality score or an over-nourished mother. In addition, being positive for Ascaris lumbricoides was identified as a protective factor against viral infection. In conclusion, we did not find evidence of a direct link between stunting and enteropathogenic viral carriage in our population.