Many of the immune and metabolic changes occurring during normal pregnancy also describe metabolic syndrome. Gut microbiota can cause symptoms of metabolic syndrome in nonpregnant hosts. Here, to explore their role in pregnancy, we characterized fecal bacteria of 91 pregnant women of varying prepregnancy BMIs and gestational diabetes status and their infants. Similarities between infant-mother microbiotas increased with children's age, and the infant microbiota was unaffected by mother's health status. Gut microbiota changed dramatically from first (T1) to third (T3) trimesters, with vast expansion of diversity between mothers, an overall increase in Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria, and reduced richness. T3 stool showed strongest signs of inflammation and energy loss; however, microbiome gene repertoires were constant between trimesters. When transferred to germ-free mice, T3 microbiota induced greater adiposity and insulin insensitivity compared to T1. Our findings indicate that host-microbial interactions that impact host metabolism can occur and may be beneficial in pregnancy.
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