Intestinal helminths are highly prevalent in low-SES children and could contribute to poor health outcomes either directly or via alteration of the gut microbiome and gut barrier function. We analysed parasitic infections and gut microbiota composition in 325 children attending high- and low-SES schools in Makassar, Indonesia before and after albendazole treatment. Lactulose/Mannitol Ratio (LMR, a marker of gut permeability); I-FABP (a surrogate marker of intestinal damage) as well as inflammatory markers (LBP) were measured. Helminth infections were highly prevalent (65.6%) in low-SES children. LMR and I-FABP levels were higher in low-SES children (geomean (95%CI): 4.03 (3.67-4.42) vs. 3.22 (2.91-3.57); p. adj < 0.001; and 1.57 (1.42-1.74) vs. 1.25 (1.13-1.38); p. adj = 0.02, respectively) while LBP levels were lower compared to the high-SES (19.39 (17.09-22.01) vs. 22.74 (20.07-26.12); p.adj = 0.01). Albendazole reduced helminth infections in low-SES and also decreased LMR with 11% reduction but only in helminth-uninfected children (estimated treatment effect: 0.89; p.adj = 0.01). Following treatment, I-FABP decreased in high- (0.91, p.adj < 0.001) but increased (1.12, p.adj = 0.004) in low-SES children. Albendazole did not alter the levels of LBP. Microbiota analysis showed no contribution from specific bacterial-taxa to the changes observed. Intestinal permeability and epithelial damage are higher while peripheral blood inflammatory marker is lower in children of low-SES in Indonesia. Furthermore, treatment decreased LMR in helminth-uninfected only.
- BINDING PROTEIN
- GUT PERMEABILITY