Gut & Growth Mechanistic Model

  • Mechanistic Model

To construct a physiologically-based mathematical representation of energy intake, expendature, and growth, incorporating influences of microbiota health, gastrointestinal pathogen infection, mucosal immune activation and inflammation.


Fat mass, fat-free mass (from which body weight, length and temporal relationship to age-appropriate measures may be calculated). NB changes in intervening measures e.g. fecal energy loss, accumulated energy deficit, indicators of microbiota health and GI inflammation can all be outputs of the model.


Primary inputs are related to specification of nutrition and infection inoculation “trajectories” over time. Factors that affect nutrition are: sufficiency of total energy and protein during exclusive breastfeeding; exclusive breastfeeding duration; weaning duration; and sufficiency of total energy and/or individual macronutrients, including unavailable carbohydrates, in complementary/other foods. Factors that affect infection inoculations are: type of inoculation (viral, bacterial, or viral+bacterial); time of first and last infections (if applicable); and periodicity. Additional factors that currently affect simulated outputs are gender and birth weights/body compositions.