New research from an international coalition of scientists reveals that, Children around the world are suffering from unnoticed infections that are stunting their growth and mental development. Two new studies show that a tremendous number of children with no signs of diarrhea are carrying harmful infections. These infections prevent them from reaching their full potential and maintain a vicious cycle of poverty.
The researchers examined more than 40,000 stool samples from children in eight countries: Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Tanzania, South Africa, Peru and Brazil. They analysed the samples using highly sensitive molecular testing to determine whether the children were carrying harmful infections.
They found 4 main pathogens which were widely present in asymptomatic children:
- Shigella bacteria
- Campylobacter bacteria
- Enteroaggregative E. coli bacteria
- Giardia parasite
The dangers of Shigella are well known to everyone, because it is associated with bloody diarrhea. In any case, the new research recommends that it might be a significantly more noteworthy danger than anticipated. The researchers examined stool samples from children with diarrhea, and they found that Shigella was very common among children with diarrhea that was not bloody. It was mostly common in second year of life.
Discovering approaches to address these contamination among the world's kids could have tremendous benefits. Vaccines are being developed for both Shigella and Campylobacter.
Still researches are going on to determine if treating these asymptomatic infections will reduce stunting without significantly increasing antibiotic resistance.