Environmental enteric dysfunction is associated with malnutrition as well as infant growth stunting and has been classically defined by villous blunting, decreased crypt-to-villus ratio, and inflammation in the small intestine. Here, we characterized environmental enteric dysfunction among infant rhesus macaques that are naturally exposed to enteric pathogens commonly linked to human growth stunting. Remarkably, despite villous atrophy and histological abnormalities observed in the small intestine, poor growth trajectories and low serum tryptophan levels were correlated with increased histopathology in the large intestine. This work provides insight into the mechanisms underlying this disease and indicates that the large intestine may be an important target for therapeutic intervention.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)