Background: There is mounting evidence that in utero and early life exposures may predispose an individual to metabolic disorders in later life; and dysregulation of lipid metabolism is critical in such outcomes. However, there is limited knowledge about lipid metabolism and factors causing lipid dysregulation in early life that could result in adverse health outcomes in later life. We studied the effect of antenatal factors such as gestational age, birth weight and mode of birth on lipid metabolism at birth; changes in the circulating lipidome in the first four years of life and the effect of breastfeeding in the first year of life. From this study, we aim to generate a framework for deeper understanding into factors effecting lipid metabolism in early life, to provide early interventions for those at risk of developing metabolic disorders including cardiovascular diseases.
Methods and findings: We performed comprehensive lipid profiling of 1074 mother-child dyads in the Barwon Infant Study (BIS), a population based pre-birth cohort and measured 776 distinct lipid species across 42 lipid classes using ultra high-performance liquid chromatography (UHPLC). We measured lipids in 1032 maternal serum samples at 28 weeks' gestation, 893 cord serum samples at birth, 793, 735, and 511 plasma samples at six, twelve months, and four years, respectively. The lipidome differed between mother and newborn and changed markedly with increasing child's age. Cord serum was enriched with long chain poly-unsaturated fatty acids (LC-PUFAs), and corresponding cholesteryl esters relative to the maternal serum. Alkenylphosphatidylethanolamine species containing LC-PUFAs increased with child's age, whereas the corresponding lysophospholipids and triglycerides decreased. We performed regression analyses to investigate the associations of cord serum lipid species with antenatal factors: gestational age, birth weight, mode of birth and duration of labor. Majority of the cord serum lipids were strongly associated with gestational age and birth weight, with most lipids showing opposing associations. Each mode of birth showed an independent association with cord serum lipids. Breastfeeding had a significant impact on the plasma lipidome in the first year of life, with upto 17-fold increases in a few species of alkyldiaclylglycerols at 6 months of age.
Conclusions: This study sheds light on lipid metabolism in infancy and early childhood and provide a framework to define the relationship between lipid metabolism and health outcomes in early childhood.
Funding Statement: This work was supported by the A*STAR-NHMRC joint call funding (1711624031).
Due to the consent obtained during recruitment process, it is not possible to make all data publicly available. Access to BIS data including all data used in this paper may be requested through the BIS Steering Committee by contacting the corresponding author. Requests to access cohort data are considered on scientific and ethical grounds and, if approved, provided under collaborative research agreements. Deidentified cohort data can be provided in Stata or CSV format. All statistical methods used are referenced within the methods section. Data that is not subject to data-sharing restrictions can be found in Supplementary File 1. Additional project information, including cohort data description and access procedures, is available at the project's website https://www.barwoninfantstudy.org.au
- Peter Meikle
- Markus R Wenk
- Neerja Karnani
- Fiona Collier
- Richard Saffery
- Peter Vuillermin
- Anne-Louise Ponsonby
- David Burgner
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The original study was granted by the Barwon Health Human Research and Ethics Committee (HREC 10/24).
- Hossein Ardehali, Northwestern University, United States
© 2022, Burugupalli et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The establishment and spread of antimalarial drug resistance vary drastically across different biogeographic regions. Though most infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, resistant strains often emerge in low-transmission regions. Existing models on resistance evolution lack consensus on the relationship between transmission intensity and drug resistance, possibly due to overlooking the feedback between antigenic diversity, host immunity, and selection for resistance. To address this, we developed a novel compartmental model that tracks sensitive and resistant parasite strains, as well as the host dynamics of generalized and antigen-specific immunity. Our results show a negative correlation between parasite prevalence and resistance frequency, regardless of resistance cost or efficacy. Validation using chloroquine-resistant marker data supports this trend. Post discontinuation of drugs, resistance remains high in low-diversity, low-transmission regions, while it steadily decreases in high-diversity, high-transmission regions. Our study underscores the critical role of malaria strain diversity in the biogeographic patterns of resistance evolution.
Large reductions in the global malaria burden have been achieved, but plateauing funding poses a challenge for progressing towards the ultimate goal of malaria eradication. Using previously published mathematical models of Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax transmission incorporating insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) as an illustrative intervention, we sought to identify the global funding allocation that maximized impact under defined objectives and across a range of global funding budgets. The optimal strategy for case reduction mirrored an allocation framework that prioritizes funding for high-transmission settings, resulting in total case reductions of 76% and 66% at intermediate budget levels, respectively. Allocation strategies that had the greatest impact on case reductions were associated with lesser near-term impacts on the global population at risk. The optimal funding distribution prioritized high ITN coverage in high-transmission settings endemic for P. falciparum only, while maintaining lower levels in low-transmission settings. However, at high budgets, 62% of funding was targeted to low-transmission settings co-endemic for P. falciparum and P. vivax. These results support current global strategies to prioritize funding to high-burden P. falciparum-endemic settings in sub-Saharan Africa to minimize clinical malaria burden and progress towards elimination, but highlight a trade-off with ‘shrinking the map’ through a focus on near-elimination settings and addressing the burden of P. vivax.