An Exposome Perspective to Environmental Enteric Dysfunction

An Exposome Perspective to Environmental Enteric Dysfunction. Environ Health Perspect, Jan 2016.

Authors: Job O. Mapesa, Amy L. Maxwell1, and Elizabeth P. Ryan

Background: Environmental exposures to chemicals have been shown to influence gastrointestinal function, yet little is known regarding whether chemical mixtures may be involved in the development of a subclinical enteric dysfunction found in infants and children born into poor hygiene and sanitation. Advances in gastrointestinal and immunotoxicology fields
merit inclusion in complex discussions of environmental enteric dysfunction (EED) that severely impact children in developing countries.

Objective: To highlight exposome approaches for investigating the potential influence of environmental chemical exposures on EED development, including a role for toxicant modulation of gut immune system and microbiome function.

Discussion: A major focus on fecal-oral contamination in impoverished living conditions already exists for EED, and should now expand to include environmental chemicals such as pesticides and heavy metals that may be anthropogenic, dietary or from microbial sources. A comprehensive characterization of environmental chemical exposures prenatally and occurring in infants and young children will enhance our knowledge of any associated risks for EED and stunting.

Conclusions: Integrating EED, chemical exposure, and stunting at various ages during childhood will enhance our apparent limited view when evaluating EED. Etiology and intervention studies should evaluate the suite of environmental chemical exposures as candidates in the composite of EED biomarkers

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