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Open AccessArticle

Impact of Prematurity and Perinatal Antibiotics on the Developing Intestinal Microbiota: A Functional Inference Study

Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry of Dairy Products, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC), 33300 Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain
Pediatrics Service, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, SESPA, 33006 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain
Pediatrics Service, Hospital de Cabueñes, SESPA, 33394 Gijón, Asturias, Spain
Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Life Sciences, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Patrick C. Y. Woo
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(5), 649;
Received: 17 February 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2016 / Accepted: 20 April 2016 / Published: 29 April 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Genomics and Metabolomics)
Background: The microbial colonization of the neonatal gut provides a critical stimulus for normal maturation and development. This process of early microbiota establishment, known to be affected by several factors, constitutes an important determinant for later health. Methods: We studied the establishment of the microbiota in preterm and full-term infants and the impact of perinatal antibiotics upon this process in premature babies. To this end, 16S rRNA gene sequence-based microbiota assessment was performed at phylum level and functional inference analyses were conducted. Moreover, the levels of the main intestinal microbial metabolites, the short-chain fatty acids (SCFA) acetate, propionate and butyrate, were measured by Gas-Chromatography Flame ionization/Mass spectrometry detection. Results: Prematurity affects microbiota composition at phylum level, leading to increases of Proteobacteria and reduction of other intestinal microorganisms. Perinatal antibiotic use further affected the microbiota of the preterm infant. These changes involved a concomitant alteration in the levels of intestinal SCFA. Moreover, functional inference analyses allowed for identifying metabolic pathways potentially affected by prematurity and perinatal antibiotics use. Conclusion: A deficiency or delay in the establishment of normal microbiota function seems to be present in preterm infants. Perinatal antibiotic use, such as intrapartum prophylaxis, affected the early life microbiota establishment in preterm newborns, which may have consequences for later health. View Full-Text
Keywords: intestinal microbiota; microbiome; preterm; infants; antibiotics intestinal microbiota; microbiome; preterm; infants; antibiotics
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Arboleya, S.; Sánchez, B.; Solís, G.; Fernández, N.; Suárez, M.; Hernández-Barranco, A.M.; Milani, C.; Margolles, A.; De los Reyes-Gavilán, C.G.; Ventura, M.; Gueimonde, M. Impact of Prematurity and Perinatal Antibiotics on the Developing Intestinal Microbiota: A Functional Inference Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 649.

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