ArcticNet - ArcticNet Research

Phase 4 (2015-2018)

Diarrheal Illness and Enteric Infections Among Young Children in Nunavik and Nunavut

Project Leader(s)

Yansouni, Cédric
Goldfarb, David

The recent recognition of widespread human disease from a parasite called Cryptosporidium in the Canadian Arctic regions of Nunavik and Nunavut is cause for considerable concern. Cryptosporidium is usually considered to be a problem in tropical countries, so finding it in the Arctic is unexpected. This is important because Cryptosporidium mostly affects young children and is linked to long-term problems with childhood growth and development, particularly in areas with food insecurity. Frequent infections causing diarrhea are thought to be common in the North, but it is not known which germs other than Cryptosporidium are most common, nor whether these infections have long-term consequences after the diarrhea has passed. This project will look for harmful germs in stool (feces) from preschool-age children in two large Arctic communities. The research undertaken will define the frequency and cause of proven diarrheal infections, assess their impact on child growth and development, and inform prevention efforts. Results from this study will be presented to parents and other community members, and help develop community-specific preventive interventions aimed at stopping the spread of these infections. Contributes to IRIS: 2, 4