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J Pediatr. 2010 Jan;156(1):20-5. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.06.063.

Intestinal microbial ecology in premature infants assessed with non-culture-based techniques.

Author information

1
Chachava Scientific-Research Institute of Perinatal Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology, Tbilisi, Georgia, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To use high throughput techniques to analyze intestinal microbial ecology in premature neonates, who are highly susceptible to perturbations of the luminal environment associated with necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and late-onset sepsis.

STUDY DESIGN:

With non-culture-based techniques, we evaluated intestinal microbiota shortly after birth and during hospitalization in 23 neonates born at 23 to 32 weeks gestational age. Microbiota compositions were compared in 6 preterm infants in whom NEC, signs of systemic inflammation, or both developed with matched control subjects by using 16S ribosomal RNA pyrosequencing.

RESULTS:

Microbial DNA was detected in meconium, suggesting an intrauterine origin. Differences in diversity were detected in infants whose mothers intended to breast feed (P = .03), babies born to mothers with chorioamnionitis (P = .06), and in babies born at <30 weeks gestation (P = .03). A 16S ribosomal RNA sequence analysis detected Citrobacter-like sequences only in cases with NEC (3 of 4) and an increased frequency of Enterococcus-like sequences in cases and Klebsiella in control subjects (P = .06). The overall microbiota profiles in cases with NEC were not distinguishable from that in control subjects.

CONCLUSIONS:

Microbial DNA in meconium of premature infants suggests prenatal influences.

PMID:
19783002
PMCID:
PMC3628625
DOI:
10.1016/j.jpeds.2009.06.063
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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