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, 6 (1), 109

Maternal Diet During Pregnancy Is Related With the Infant Stool Microbiome in a Delivery Mode-Dependent Manner

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Maternal Diet During Pregnancy Is Related With the Infant Stool Microbiome in a Delivery Mode-Dependent Manner

Sara N Lundgren et al. Microbiome.

Abstract

Background: The gut microbiome has an important role in infant health and immune development and may be affected by early-life exposures. Maternal diet may influence the infant gut microbiome through vertical transfer of maternal microbes to infants during vaginal delivery and breastfeeding. We aimed to examine the association of maternal diet during pregnancy with the infant gut microbiome 6 weeks post-delivery in mother-infant dyads enrolled in the New Hampshire Birth Cohort Study. Infant stool samples were collected from 145 infants, and maternal prenatal diet was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire. We used targeted sequencing of the 16S rRNA V4-V5 hypervariable region to characterize infant gut microbiota. To account for differences in baseline and trajectories of infant gut microbial profiles, we stratified analyses by delivery mode.

Results: We identified three infant gut microbiome clusters, characterized by increased abundance of Bifidobacterium, Streptococcus and Clostridium, and Bacteroides, respectively, overall and in the vaginally delivered infant stratum. In the analyses stratified to infants born vaginally and adjusted for other potential confounders, maternal fruit intake was associated with infant gut microbial community structure (PERMANOVA, p < 0.05). In multinomial logistic regression analyses, increased fruit intake was associated with an increased odds of belonging to the high Streptococcus/Clostridium group among infants born vaginally (OR (95% CI) = 2.73 (1.36, 5.46)). In infants delivered by Cesarean section, we identified three clusters that differed slightly from vaginally delivered infants, which were characterized by a high abundance of Bifidobacterium, high Clostridium and low Streptococcus and Ruminococcus genera, and high abundance of the family Enterobacteriaceae. Maternal dairy intake was associated with an increased odds of infants belonging to the high Clostridium cluster in infants born by Cesarean section (OR (95% CI) = 2.36 (1.05, 5.30)). Linear models suggested additional associations between maternal diet and infant intestinal microbes in both delivery mode strata.

Conclusions: Our data indicate that maternal diet influences the infant gut microbiome and that these effects differ by delivery mode.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene; Delivery mode; Fruit; Infant gut microbiome; Infant gut microbiome clusters; Maternal prenatal diet.

Conflict of interest statement

Ethics approval and consent to participate

The Center for the Protection of Human Subjects at Dartmouth provided institutional review board approval. All methods were carried out in accordance with the guidelines. Written informed consent was obtained for participation from all subjects for themselves and their children.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Publisher’s Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Figures

Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Associations between maternal diet and infant gut microbial communities in infants delivered vaginally. Plots include only infants delivered vaginally (n = 97). a Principal coordinate plot of generalized UniFrac distances (PERMANOVA p = 0.028 for maternal fruit intake as a continuous variable), colored by maternal fruit intake tertiles. Each point represents an individual, and lines indicate the distance from tertile centroid. b Predicted probability plot of infant stool cluster membership by maternal fruit intake during pregnancy from multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for infant feeding method, maternal BMI, parity, and batch. Cluster 1 is the reference group. c Linear model associations between maternal aMED score and relative abundance of infant stool OTUs. The size of each point indicates the log-ratio transformed relative abundance (LRTA) of each OTU (LRTA ≥ 30, LRTA ≥ 20, or LRTA < 20). Points are colored by taxonomy represented heavily in top results, for p < 0.10. F., G., and S. in taxonomy labels indicate that the level of taxonomy is family, genus, or species, respectively
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Associations between maternal diet and infant gut microbial communities in infants delivered vaginally. Plots include only infants delivered by Cesarean section (n = 48). a Principal coordinate plot of generalized UniFrac distances (PERMANOVA p = 0.034 for maternal dairy as a continuous variable), colored by maternal dairy intake tertiles. Each point represents an individual, and lines indicate the distance from tertile centroid. b Predicted probability plot of infant stool cluster membership by maternal dairy intake during pregnancy from multinomial logistic regression models adjusted for infant feeding method, maternal BMI, parity, and batch. Cluster 1 is the reference group. c Linear model associations between maternal aMED score and relative abundance of infant stool OTUs. The size of each point indicates the log-ratio transformed relative abundance (LRTA) of each OTU (LRTA ≥ 30, LRTA ≥ 20, or LRTA < 20). Red text indicates q < 0.10. Points are colored by taxonomy represented heavily in top results, for p < 0.10. F., G., and S. in taxonomy labels indicate that the level of taxonomy is family, genus, or species

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