A recent study reported that bacteria in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of undernourished infants from Malawi promote development of kwashiorkor, shedding light on how gut microbes interact with diet and the immune system to contribute to severe childhood malnutrition (Kau AL et al. Sci Transl Med. 2015;7:1-15).
Researchers purified immune-targeted gut microbes from 2 cohorts of human identical twins in which one twin was healthy and the other had kwashiorkor, isolating several types of pathogenic bacteria from gut microbiota of malnurished children.
Friedrich MJ. Gut Bacteria Combined With Poor Diet May Promote Childhood Malnutrition. JAMA. 2015;313(15):1506. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.3336