Introduction: The pathophysiology of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is multifactorial, and gastrointestinal bacteria are thought to play an important role. In this study, the role of microflora in the gastrointestinal tract of neonates with NEC was assessed by comparing cases with controls.
Results: Of the 163 neonates, 21 developed NEC. The risk of NEC decreased by 8% with each additional day of gestational age.
Discussion: Typically, very few bacterial species could be cultured from the fecal specimens obtained. Gram-positive (G(+)) bacteria dominated the samples in the NEC group, whereas in the control group mixed flora of G(+) and Gram-negative (G(-)) bacteria were isolated. Surprisingly, molecular analysis using PCR-DGGE profiles did not confirm these differences. Our data suggest that G(+) bacteria in the intestine may play a role in the development of NEC in premature infants.
Methods: One hundred and sixty three neonates born at <30 weeks of gestation were enrolled. Fecal samples taken during the first month of life were subjected to culture and PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (PCR-DGGE). A total of 482 fecal samples were examined.