We found that the relatively simple microbiota of young infants shifts predictably to a more mature anaerobic microbiota during infancy and the dynamics of this shift are influenced by environmental factors. In this longitudinal study of 75 infants, we demonstrate high interindividual variability within the normal range of birth outcomes, especially in the rate of microbiota progression. Most had acquired a microbiota profile high in Bifidobacterium and Collinsella by 6 months of age, but the time point of this acquisition was later in infants delivered by caesarean section and those born after a shorter duration of gestation. Independently of the delivery mode and gestation duration, infants who acquired a profile high in Bifidobacterium and Collinsella at a later age had lower adiposity at 18 months of age.
Importance: This study shows that the acquisition of the early microbiota is strongly influenced by environmental factors such as the delivery mode and duration of gestation, even in healthy neonates. The composition of the early microbiota has been linked with long-lasting effects on health and disease. Here we show that the rate of acquisition of certain microbiota predicts adiposity at 18 months of age and so potentially the risk of later obesity.
Copyright © 2015 Dogra et al.