Date of Award

January 2022

Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


School of Public Health

First Advisor

Debbie Humphries


Hookworm infection is one of the neglected tropical diseases, particularly in low and middle-income countries, but we know relatively little about causal evidence related to malnutrition. This is mainly due to the relatively small research community compared to those investigating the impact of hookworm infection on host nutritional status and disease complications. Causal inference is critical in epidemiology and biomedical research because it can be a powerful tool in enlightening prevention efforts and developing etiology models. The application of causal criteria to address complex epidemiological research questions is indeed helpful in proposing more interventions to improve the health and well-being of marginalized human populations. Herein, the causal criteria are analyzed across studies differing in their the- oretical methods and assumptions under the nutrition-hookworm infection paradigm. We found evidence that supports nutritional deficiency in protein, energy, and/or zinc playing a role in influencing the success of hookworm infections and the ability of the host to respond to infections. Thus, when ascertaining causal relationships, causal inference tools are applicable for future studies related to nutrition and infectious diseases.


This is an Open Access Thesis.

Open Access

This Article is Open Access