Malnutrition & Infection

The current nutrition-infection research focus of the Global Nutrition Lab is the relationship between malnutrition and risk of tuberculosis (TB). Our goal is to understand how under-nutrition drives the risk of tuberculosis in low- and middle-income countries.

Tuberculosis: Learning the Impact of Nutrition

Dr. Lindsey Locks is a co-investigator on the Tuberculosis: Learning the Impact of Nutrition (TB-LION) study (Principal Investigator: Natasha Hochberg, MD, MPH of Boston Medical Center, BU School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health). TB-LION will provide six months of food distributions (rice, lentils, peanuts, and cooking oil) to malnourished household contacts of tuberculosis patients; household contacts with normal body mass index will serve as healthy controls. The study will compare the immune response to Mycobacterium tuberculosis and RNA sequences that predict progression from latent TB infection to TB disease in malnourished cases and controls. Additional arms of the study will look at the role of de-worming on immune response and RNA sequences.

Our lab supports the TB-LION field team at Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research (JIPMER) to collect high-quality nutrition-related data including anthropometric assessments, grip strength, and multiple 24-hour recalls.