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In spite of recent progress, diarrhoeal disease continues to kill about half a million children a year, nearly all in low or middle income countries (LMIC). To tackle this effectively, we really need to know what organisms are responsible, so that treatments and public health measures can be appropriately targeted. Conventional methods of analysing stool, such as culture and enzyme immuno-assay, may miss or underestimate important pathogens, or may misidentify harmless organisms as being pathogenic.
The original Global Enteric Multicenter Study (GEMS), published in 2013, collected stool samples from 9400 children under 5 years living …