Enteric infections, with or without overt diarrhea, have profound effects on intestinal absorption, nutrition, and childhood development as well as on global mortality. Oral rehydration therapy has reduced the number of deaths from dehydration caused by infection with an enteric pathogen, but it has not changed the morbidity caused by such infections. This Review focuses on the interactions between enteric pathogens and human genetic determinants that alter intestinal function and inflammation and profoundly impair human health and development. We also discuss specific implications for novel approaches to interventions that are now opened by our rapidly growing molecular understanding.
William A. Petri Jr., Mark Miller, Henry J. Binder, Myron M. Levine, Rebecca Dillingham, Richard L. Guerrant
Worldwide distribution of deaths caused by diarrhea in children under 5 years of age in 2000.