Thrasher Research Fund - Medical research grants to improve the lives of children

Project Details

E.W. "Al" Thrasher

Status: Funded - Open

Eggs to Eradicate Environmental Enteric Dysfunction

Mark Manary, MD


BACKGROUND: Moderate acute malnutrition (MAM), stunting, and environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) co-occur in millions of children yearly and, together, cause substantial morbidity and mortality. In Sierra Leone, 70% of MAM children are stunted and 75% have EED. Once a child enters the cycle of wasting-stunting, their future development is put at risk. GAP: There are no known effective treatments either for either EED or the prevention of stunting development/progression during and after acute malnutrition. This gap represents a massive waste of human potential. HYPOTHESIS: A daily supplement of 15g egg powder will reduce intestinal permeability and improve linear growth in moderately wasted 6-30 mo old children in Sierra Leone when compared with a control corn powder. Both groups will receive daily multiple micronutrients. METHODS: A randomized, investigator-blinded, controlled trial in moderately wasted children in rural Sierra Leone testing 24 weeks of 15 grams daily egg powder supplementation vs. a control of 15g corn powder. Participants will initially receive treatment for MAM alongside intervention vs. control powders. Following MAM treatment. they will undergo anthropometric measurements every 6 weeks as well as urine and stool sample collection at weeks 6, 12, and 24 to measure urine % lactulose excretion and fecal host mRNAs and fecal proteins. RESULTS: Pending. IMPACT: Finding an effective treatment to ameliorate EED and restore linear growth among vulnerable children with MAM would mark an enormous advance both scientifically and for these children to be able to break out of the wasting-stunting cycle.

Supervising Institution:
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis

Project Location:
Sierra Leone, United States

Award Amount: