Chronic kidney disease of unknown etiology (CKDu) is known to afflict up to 25 percnet of adult residents of arid, low-land, monocrop farming regions in several countries, but its cause or causes are unknown.
To help solve the mystery, this project will investigate the environment of persons at-risk for CKDu in Sri Lanka – an important starting point because the kidney’s capacity as a major excretory organs makes it a key bio-indicator. The researchers performed a preliminary study at a Sri Lankan hospital to enable non-invasive, clinical identification of probable CKDu. Using this case definition to enable recruitment and kidney biopsy protocols, the team will assess environmental exposures from water, soil, and rice to determine risk factors for development of CKDu, recruit participants and examine early-stage kidney biopsies for heavy metals and infectious pathogens.
Shuchi Anand (Medicine, Center for Innovation in Global Health)
Vivek Bhalla (Medicine)
Andrew Fire (Medicine)
Neeraja Kambham (Medicine)