A reanalysis of the Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS)
In a new study using more than 10,000 samples in high-burden countries around the world, scientists closely analyzed the occurrence of more than 40 diarrhea-causing pathogens. They ultimately identified a small but deadly coalition: Together, only six pathogens cause nearly 80% of infections. In descending order of attribution, these culprits are Shigella, rotavirus, adenovirus, ST-ETEC, Cryptosporidium, and Campylobacter. Four of these culprits appear in our latest animated video.
While these pathogens remain serious threats to low-income communities, collectively they also set a tangible target for research. As study co-author, Eric Houpt of the University of Virginia notes, “It’s not a hopelessly long list of infections that we can’t do anything about.” In the case of ETEC and Shigella, PATH and other international experts are developing vaccines that will one day knock these two pathogens off the ominous list.