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      The mode of delivery affects the diversity and colonization pattern of the gut microbiota during the first year of infants' life: a systematic review


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          The human gut is the habitat for diverse and dynamic microbial ecosystem. The human microbiota plays a critical role in functions that sustain health and is a positive asset in host defenses. Establishment of the human intestinal microbiota during infancy may be influenced by multiple factors including delivery mode. Present review compiles existing evidences on the effect of delivery mode on the diversity and colonization pattern of infants gut microbiota.


          Two investigators searched for relevant scientific publications from four databases (Pubmed, Medline, Embase, and Web of Science). The last search was performed on September 21, 2015, using key terms ((delivery mode OR caesarean delivery OR cesarean section OR vaginal delivery) AND (gut microbiota OR gut microbiome OR gut microflora OR intestinal microflora OR microbial diversity) AND (infants OR children)). All included studies described at least two types of gut microbiota in relation to delivery mode (caesarean section vs vaginal delivery) and used fecal samples to detect gut microbiota.


          Seven out of 652 retrieved studies met inclusion criteria, were included in systematic analysis. Caesarean Section (CS) was associated with both lower abundance and diversity of the phyala Actinobacteria and Bacteroidetes, and higher abundance and diversity of the phylum Firmicute from birth to 3 months of life. At the colonization level, Bifidobacterium, and Bacteroides genera seems to be significantly more frequent in vaginally delivered infants compared with CS delivered. These infants were more colonized by the Clostridium, and Lactobacillus genera. From the reports, it is tempting to say that delivery mode has less effect on colonization and diversity of Bifidobacteria, Bacteroides, Clostridium, and Lactobacillus genera from the age of 6 to 12 months of life.


          The diversity and colonization pattern of the gut microbiota were significantly associated to the mode of delivery during the first three months of life, however the observed significant differences disappears after 6 months of infants life. The healthy gut microbiota is considered to promote development and maturation of the immune system while abnormal gut is considered as the major cause of severe gastrointestinal infections during the infancy. Further studies should investigate the diversity and colonization levels of infant gut microbiota in relation to the mode of delivery and its broad impact on infants’ health at each stage of life.

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          The gut microbiome in health and in disease

          Recent technological advancements and expanded efforts have led to a tremendous growth in the collective knowledge of the human microbiome. This review will highlight some of the important recent findings in this area of research.
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            Low gut microbiota diversity in early infancy precedes asthma at school age.

            Low total diversity of the gut microbiota during the first year of life is associated with allergic diseases in infancy, but little is known how early microbial diversity is related to allergic disease later in school age. To assess microbial diversity and characterize the dominant bacteria in stool during the first year of life in relation to the prevalence of different allergic diseases in school age, such as asthma, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC) and eczema. The microbial diversity and composition was analysed with barcoded 16S rDNA 454 pyrosequencing in stool samples at 1 week, 1 month and 12 months of age in 47 infants which were subsequently assessed for allergic disease and skin prick test reactivity at 7 years of age (ClinicalTrials.gov ID NCT01285830). Children developing asthma (n = 8) had a lower diversity of the total microbiota than non-asthmatic children at 1 week (P = 0.04) and 1 month (P = 0.003) of age, whereas allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (n = 13), eczema (n = 12) and positive skin prick reactivity (n = 14) at 7 years of age did not associate with the gut microbiota diversity. Neither was asthma associated with the microbiota composition later in infancy (at 12 months). Children having IgE-associated eczema in infancy and subsequently developing asthma had lower microbial diversity than those that did not. There were no significant differences, however, in relative abundance of bacterial phyla and genera between children with or without allergic disease. Low total diversity of the gut microbiota during the first month of life was associated with asthma but not ARC in children at 7 years of age. Measures affecting microbial colonization of the infant during the first month of life may impact asthma development in childhood. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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              Human milk is a source of lactic acid bacteria for the infant gut.

              To investigate whether human breast milk contains potentially probiotic lactic acid bacteria, and therefore, whether it can be considered a synbiotic food. Study design Lactic acid bacteria were isolated from milk, mammary areola, and breast skin of eight healthy mothers and oral swabs and feces of their respective breast-fed infants. Some isolates (178 from each mother and newborn pair) were randomly selected and submitted to randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) polymerase chain reaction analysis, and those that displayed identical RAPD patterns were identified by 16S rDNA sequencing. Within each mother and newborn pair, some rod-shaped lactic acid bacteria isolated from mammary areola, breast milk, and infant oral swabs and feces displayed identical RAPD profiles. All of them, independently from the mother and child pair, were identified as Lactobacillus gasseri. Similarly, among coccoid lactic acid bacteria from these different sources, some shared an identical RAPD pattern and were identified as Enterococcus faecium. In contrast, none of the lactic acid bacteria isolated from breast skin shared RAPD profiles with lactic acid bacteria of the other sources. Breast-feeding can be a significant source of lactic acid bacteria to the infant gut. Lactic acid bacteria present in milk may have an endogenous origin and may not be the result of contamination from the surrounding breast skin.

                Author and article information

                +86-551-5161169-8106 , taofangbiao@126.com
                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterology
                BioMed Central (London )
                30 July 2016
                30 July 2016
                : 16
                : 86
                [1 ]Department of Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Meishan Road 81, Hefei City, Anhui Province 230032 People’s Republic of China
                [2 ]Anhui Provincial Key Laboratory of Population Health & Aristogenics, Hefei City, Anhui Province People’s Republic of China
                [3 ]Department of Public Health Inspection and Quarantine Science, School of Public Health, Anhui Medical University, Hefei City, Anhui Province People’s Republic of China
                © The Author(s). 2016

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 26 January 2016
                : 21 July 2016
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/501100001809, National Natural Science Foundation of China;
                Award ID: 81330068/81373012
                Award Recipient :
                Research Article
                Custom metadata
                © The Author(s) 2016

                Gastroenterology & Hepatology
                gut microbiota,bifidobacterium,bacteroides,firmicutes,clostridium,delivery mode,caesarean section,vaginal delivery,infants


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