Pathogen-specific burdens of community diarrhoea in developing countries: a multisite birth cohort study (MAL-ED)

Most studies of the causes of diarrhoea in low-income and middle-income countries have looked at severe disease in people presenting for care, and there are few estimates of pathogen-specific diarrhoea burdens in the community. The researchers undertook a birth cohort study with not only intensive community surveillance for diarrhoea but also routine collection of non-diarrhoeal stools from eight sites in South America, Africa, and Asia. We enrolled children within 17 days of birth, and diarrhoeal episodes (defined as maternal report of three or more loose stools in 24 h, or one loose stool with visible blood) were identified through twice-weekly home visits by fieldworkers over a follow-up period of 24 months.

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