Immunology and growth faltering of Anga children, Papua New Guinea: preliminary work.

Immunology and growth faltering of Anga children, Papua New Guinea: preliminary work.

Immunology and growth faltering of Anga children, Papua New Guinea: preliminary work.

Abstract

Nutrition-infection interactions among poor children of the less-developed world influence growth and development. However, the relative importance of each is difficult to determine, because the relationship is mediated by immunological status. In this analysis, relationships between immunological measures and anthropometry were sought among 41 Anga, Papua New Guinea children aged 0-7 years. These had elevated serum total leucocyte and leucocyte subset counts relative to western reference values. Although there was no correlation between anthropometric nutritional status and total leucocytes and leucocyte subsets for this group, the small group (n=8) with very high total leucocyte count (greater than 15,000/mm2) had significantly lower mean Z score of stature for age (-3.78), and weight for stature (-1.35) than those with leucocyte counts lower than this cut-off (weight for stature Z score: -0.59; stature for age Z score: -2.68, respectively. Low stature-for-age Z score was associated with lower total lymphocyte count and increasing age, against a background of elevated lymphocyte levels relative to western reference values among the older children; low weight-for-stature Z score was associated with lower neutrophil count, against a background of normal neutrophil levels across all age groups. The pattern of weight and stature growth seen in the Anga may reflect extended nutritional deficits which result in stunting of a degree to which the most growth-compromised children die, leaving those above a threshold associated with high mortality alive. Thus, the anthropometric and immunological characteristics of the older children in this small sample may reflect the biology of survival under severe ecological conditions, where poor linear growth and elevated leucocyte status relative to normative values are characteristics of survivorship.

read-online1

Post Comment

Filed in: