VoICE Immunization Evidence
Interactions of diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition in childhood: recent evidence from developing countries
Vaccine-preventable diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhea can predispose children to further infections.
Key Evidence: In a recent review of data from developing countries, researchers found that episodes of diarrhea may predispose undernourished children to pneumonia.
The interactions of childhood diarrhea, pneumonia and malnutrition contribute to a vicious cycle of poor health and delayed growth and development. Immunization can help to improve this cycle.
Key Evidence: Multiple studies show that
- Diarrhea and pneumonia impair children’s growth and that underlying malnutrition is a major risk factor for these conditions.
- “Episodes of diarrhea may predispose to pneumonia in undernourished children” and
- Immunization against influenza (in mothers) and Streptococcus pneumoniae may improve infant growth. In addition, new studies from Bangladesh, Colombia, Ghana, and Israel further support the paradigm that malnutrition is a key risk factor for diarrhea and pneumonia.
Schlaudecker, E.P., Steinhoff, M.C. and Moore, S.R. 2011. Interactions of diarrhea, pneumonia, and malnutrition in childhood: recent evidence from developing countries. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases. 24:496-502.