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Observational Study
. 2017 Nov;65(5):509-515.
doi: 10.1097/MPG.0000000000001566.

Association of Maternal Gestational Weight Gain With the Infant Fecal Microbiota

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Free PMC article
Observational Study

Association of Maternal Gestational Weight Gain With the Infant Fecal Microbiota

Alyssa Robinson et al. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Objectives: Pregnancy characteristics may influence the infant fecal microbiota during early life. We aimed to examine associations of maternal gestational weight gain with infant fecal microbiota composition, bacterial community richness, and Shannon diversity index.

Methods: We analyzed data from a prospective cohort study of healthy infants. We collected prenatal data, including report of mother's gestational weight gain, and infant fecal samples from 84 infant-mother dyads. By applying 16S rRNA gene sequencing and an unbiased clustering by partitioning around medoids using Bray-Curtis distances, we identified 4 fecal microbiota profiles, and examined the associations of maternal gestational weight gain with the 4 fecal microbiota profiles, bacterial community richness, and Shannon diversity index.

Results: Overall, the median age of infants was 4.0 months and 43% were girls. The mothers of the 84 infants gained a mean of 14.2 kg (standard deviation, 5.4 kg) during pregnancy. We identified 4 distinct microbiota profiles: Bifidobacterium-dominant (42%), Enterobacter/Veillonella-dominant (23%), Bacteroides-dominant (19%), and Escherichia-dominant (17%). Infants whose mothers had higher gestational weight gain were less likely to have a Bacteroides-dominant profile, corresponding to a relative risk ratio of 0.83 (95% confidence interval, 0.71-0.96; P = 0.01) per 1 kg increase in weight. In addition, higher gestational weight gain was also associated with lower bacterial community richness and Shannon diversity index (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: In this prospective cohort study of healthy infants, maternal gestational weight gain was associated with the infant fecal microbiota profiles, bacterial community richness, and Shannon diversity index.

Conflict of interest statement

Conflicts of Interest: Drs. Ajami and Petrosino own shares at Diversigen Inc., a microbiome research company. The remaining authors report no conflicts of interest.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1. Principal coordinate analysis plot on infant fecal microbiota
The Bray–Curtis distance between all subjects was calculated and used to generate principal coordinate analysis plot. Each dot in the figure represents the microbiota profile of a single subject in a two-dimensional space. Colored dots indicate 4 microbiota profiles: Escherichia-dominant profile (green), Bifidobacterium-dominant profile (blue), Enterobacter/Veillonella-dominant profile (red), and Bacteroides-dominant profile (purple). The subjects cluster together according to their microbiota profiles.
Figure 2
Figure 2. Associations between maternal weight gain during pregnancy and proportion of Bacteroides-dominant fecal microbiota profile in infants
Association of maternal gestational weight gain and Bacteroides-dominant fecal microbiota profiles in infants. Infants whose mother had a greater gestational weight gain were less likely to have a Bacteroides-dominant profile, corresponding to an unadjusted relative risk ratio of 0.83 (95%CI, 0.71–0.96; P=0.01) per 1 kg increase. The grey shaded areas represent the 95% confidence interval.

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