10 April 2013
Vol 5, Issue 180

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Fighting Malnutrition with Microbes. More than 20 million children worldwide suffer from severe malnutrition including a form called marasmus (pictured). Two new studies of malnourished children in Malawi, discussed in a Focus in this issue by Prentice et al., provide vital new insights into the causes of and potential treatments for severe malnutrition. One study demonstrates that combining antibiotics with a special feeding regimen for severely malnourished children provided greater reductions in mortality than treatment with therapeutic foods alone. The second study, which analyzed the gut microbiomes of malnourished twin pairs fed a Malawian diet versus ready-to-use therapeutic foods, clearly demonstrates the part played by a dysfunctional gut microbiome and altered microbial metabolism in severe malnutrition. [CREDIT: Y. HAMMOND/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE]