REG1B as a predictor of childhood stunting in Bangladesh and Peru1-3

Kristine M. Peterson, Janice Buss, Rebecca Easley, Zhengyu Yang, Poonum S. Korpe, Feiyang Niu, Jennie Z. Ma, Maribel Paredes Olortegui, Rashidul Haque, Margaret N. Kosek, William A. Petri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Background: Undernutrition remains a significant problem worldwide, with environmental enteropathy implicated as a contributing factor. An understanding of the pathogenesis and identification of children at risk are critical to the design of more-effective interventions. Objective: The stool regenerating gene 1b (REG1B) protein, which is a putative measure of intestinal injury and repair, was tested as a noninvasive biomarker of future childhood stunting. Design: A total of 222 children from Bangladesh and 97 children from Peru, who were from impoverished communities, were followed from birth through 24 mo of age with anthropometric measures obtained every 3 mo. Stool REG1B protein concentrations were obtained by using an REG1B polyclonal-polyclonal ELISA at 3 mo of age. We tested for the ability of REG1B to forecast future anthropometric shortfalls, independent of known predictors of undernutrition of family income and baseline height and weight. Results: In the Bangladesh cohort of 222 children, higher REG1B concentrations at month 3 were significantly and independently associated with a growth shortfall in a linear regression analysis at months 9, 12, 18, 21, and 24 and, in the Peru cohort, at months 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24. With the use of a mixed model for repeated measurements, higher stool REG1B concentrations at 3 mo were also independently predictive of a lower future length-for-age z score through 24 mo of age (Bangladesh P = 0.006; Peru P = 0.058). Conclusion: The ability of fecal REG1B to predict growth shortfall in independent cohorts of impoverished children from the developing world offers promise as a malnutrition biomarker and supports a role for environmental enteropathy in the pathogenesis of growth shortfall.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1129-1133
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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