The Infant Gut Health Study

Why are we doing this?

This project aims at investigating the shifts in the gut microbiome composition in individuals infected with gastrointestinal helminths (Parasitic worms) and the potential health implications and challenges with susceptibility to other opportunistic pathogens.


Intestinal parasites affect millions of people globally and remain a problem in developing countries. A third of pregnant women living in Papua New Guinea (PNG) are infected with at least one type of intestinal parasite. However, there are very little up to date information on the parasitic species that colonise pregnant mothers and young children, nor how these parasites influence the
infant gut microbiome.

How are we doing this?

We will analyse faecal samples collected through the Infant Gut Health Study, which is a cohort of pregnant mothers recruited from the Asaro Valley (PNG), and their infants through their first 12 months of life. This study will provide much needed knowledge on the current parasitic burden among women and children in PNG. We will also gain a better understanding on
the parasite – gut microbiome interaction likely contributing to the health challenges of endemic populations.

Chief Investigators