Investigations into the microbiome and chronic childhood undernutrition
Wednesday, October 12, 2016 6:00pm
Associate Professor, University of British Columbia
Chronic malnutrition, termed stunting, is defined as suboptimal linear growth, affects one third of children in developing countries, and leads to increased mortality and poor developmental outcomes. Recent studies have shown that the intestinal microbiota can induce changes in weight; however, no studies have investigated the gut microbiota as a determinant of chronic malnutrition or stunting. We performed secondary analyses of data from two well-characterized twin cohorts of children from Malawi and Bangladesh to identify bacterial genera associated with linear growth. In a case-control analysis, we used the graphical lasso to estimate covariance network models of gut microbial interactions from relative genus abundances and used network analysis methods to select genera associated with stunting severity. In longitudinal analyses, we determined associations between these selected microbes and linear growth using between-within twin regression models to adjust for confounding and introduce temporality. Reduced microbiota diversity and increased covariance network density were associated with stunting severity, while increased relative abundance of Acidaminococcus sp. was associated with future linear growth deficits.
Amee Manges is a molecular epidemiologist and Associate Professor at the School of Population and Public Health and supervises a research laboratory at BCCDC. She received her PhD in epidemiology from the University of California at Berkeley. Her interests are in human microbiome research and the application of next-generation sequencing tools to infectious disease epidemiology.
Ethan Gough is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of British Columbia working with Dr. Amee Manges. He is an epidemiologist who utilizes “-omics” data and bioinformatic tools in the context of epidemiologic studies to investigate the role of the gut microbiome in global health challenges, such as childhood undernutrition and enteric infections.
Trainees are invited to meet with the VanBUG speaker for open discussion of both science and career paths. This takes place 5:00-5:45pm in either the Boardroom or Lunchroom on the ground floor of the BCCRC
Eric Zhao (MD/PhD student, Dr. Steven Jones’ lab, BC Genome Sciences Centre)
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