Prematurely delivering mothers show reductions of lachnospiraceae in their gut microbiomes

BMC Microbiol. 2023 Jun 15;23(1):169. doi: 10.1186/s12866-023-02892-z.


Background: Preterm birth is the leading cause of perinatal morbidity and mortality. Despite evidence shows that imbalances in the maternal microbiome associates to the risk of preterm birth, the mechanisms underlying the association between a perturbed microbiota and preterm birth remain poorly understood.

Method: Applying shotgun metagenomic analysis on 80 gut microbiotas of 43 mothers, we analyzed the taxonomic composition and metabolic function in gut microbial communities between preterm and term mothers.

Results: Gut microbiome of mothers delivering prematurely showed decreased alpha diversity and underwent significant reorganization, especially during pregnancy. SFCA-producing microbiomes, particularly species of Lachnospiraceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Eubacteriaceae, were significantly depleted in preterm mothers. Lachnospiraceae and its species were the main bacteria contributing to species' differences and metabolic pathways.

Conclusion: Gut microbiome of mothers delivering prematurely has altered and demonstrates the reduction of Lachnospiraceae.

Keywords: Gastrointestinal microbiota; Interleukin- 1; Lachnospiraceae; Preterm birth; Short-chain fatty acids; Shotgun metagenomics sequencing.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteria / genetics
  • Clostridiales
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Microbiota*
  • Mothers
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S / genetics


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S