UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Impact of Maternal Intrapartum Antibiotics, and Caesarean Section with and without Labour on Bifidobacterium and Other Infant Gut Microbiota Chen, Yuan Yao; Zhao, Xin; Moeder, Wolfgang; Tun, Hein M.; Simons, Elinor; Mandhane, Piushkumar J.; Moraes, Theo J.; Turvey, Stuart E.; Subbarao, Padmaja; Scott, James A.; et al.


Background and Aims: Few studies consider the joint effect of multiple factors related to birth, delivery mode, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis and the onset of labour, on the abundance of Bifidobacterium and the quantity of this genus and its species Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis in the infant gut microbiota. We implemented such a study. Methods: Among 1654 Canadian full-term infants, the gut microbiota of faecal samples collected at 3 months were profiled by 16S rRNA sequencing; the genus Bifidobacterium and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis were quantified by qPCR. Associations between Bifidobacterium and other gut microbiota were examined by Spearman’s rank correlation. Results: Following vaginal birth, maternal IAP exposure was associated with reduced absolute quantities of bifidobacteria among vaginally delivered infants (6.80 vs. 7.14 log10 (gene-copies/g faeces), p < 0.05), as well as their lowered abundance relative to other gut microbiota. IAP differences in infant gut bifidobacterial quantity were independent of maternal pre-pregnancy body-mass-index (BMI), and remarkably, they were limited to breastfed infants. Pre-pregnancy BMI adjustment revealed negative associations between absolute quantities of bifidobacteria and CS with or without labour in non-breastfed infants, and CS with labour in exclusively breastfed infants. Significant correlations between Bifidobacterium abundance and other microbial taxa were observed. Conclusions: This study documented the impact of the birth mode and feeding status on the abundance of gut Bifidobacterium, and pointed to the important ecological role of the genus Bifidobacterium in gut microbiota due to its strong interaction with other gut microbiota in early infancy.

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