|Title||Early-Life events, including mode of delivery and type of feeding, siblings and gender, shape the developing gut microbiota|
|Author(s)||Martin, Rocio; Makino, Hiroshi; Yavuz, Aysun Cetinyurek; Ben-Amor, Kaouther; Roelofs, Mieke; Ishikawa, Eiji; Kubota, Hiroyuki; Swinkels, Sophie; Sakai, Takafumi; Oishi, Kenji; Kushiro, Akira; Knol, Jan|
|Source||PLoS ONE 11 (2016)6. - ISSN 1932-6203|
|Publication type||Refereed Article in a scientific journal|
Colonization of the infant gut is believed to be critically important for a healthy growth as it influences gut maturation, metabolic, immune and brain development in early life. Understanding factors that influence this process is important, since an altered colonization has been associated with a higher risk of diseases later in life. Fecal samples were collected from 108 healthy neonates in the first half year of life. The composition and functionality of the microbiota was characterized by measuring 33 different bacterial taxa by qPCR/RT qPCR, and 8 bacterial metabolites. Information regarding gender, place and mode of birth, presence of siblings or pets; feeding pattern and antibiotic use was collected by using questionnaires. Regression analysis techniques were used to study associations between microbiota parameters and confounding factors over time. Bacterial DNA was detected in most meconium samples, suggesting bacterial exposure occurs in utero. After birth, colonization by species of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus and Bacteroides was influenced by mode of delivery, type of feeding and presence of siblings, with differences found at species level and over time. Interestingly, infant-type bifidobacterial species such as B. breve or B. longum subsp infantis were confirmed as early colonizers apparently independent of the factors studied here, while B. animalis subsp. lactis presence was found to be dependent solely on the type of feeding, indicating that it might not be a common infant gut inhabitant. One interesting and rather unexpected confounding factor was gender. This study contributes to our understanding of the composition of the microbiota in early life and the succession process and the evolution of the microbial community as a function of time and events occurring during the first 6 months of life. Our results provide new insights that could be taken into consideration when selecting nutritional supplementation strategies to support the developing infant gut microbiome.