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Open AccessArticle

The Effects of Genetic Relatedness on the Preterm Infant Gut Microbiota

1
College of Nursing, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
2
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, University of Miami, Miami, FL 33149, USA
3
Division of Nutritional Sciences, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
4
Neonatology Division, Carle Hospital, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
5
College of Nursing, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN 37916, USA
6
College of Medicine, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33612, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Claudio de Simone
Microorganisms 2021, 9(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020278
Received: 22 December 2020 / Revised: 21 January 2021 / Accepted: 25 January 2021 / Published: 29 January 2021
The preterm infant gut microbiota is influenced by environmental, endogenous, maternal, and genetic factors. Although siblings share similar gut microbial composition, it is not known how genetic relatedness affects alpha diversity and specific taxa abundances in preterm infants. We analyzed the 16S rRNA gene content of stool samples, ≤ and >3 weeks postnatal age, and clinical data from preterm multiplets and singletons at two Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs), Tampa General Hospital (TGH; FL, USA) and Carle Hospital (IL, USA). Weeks on bovine milk-based fortifier (BMF) and weight gain velocity were significant predictors of alpha diversity. Alpha diversity between siblings were significantly correlated, particularly at ≤3 weeks postnatal age and in the TGH NICU, after controlling for clinical factors. Siblings shared higher gut microbial composition similarity compared to unrelated individuals. After residualizing against clinical covariates, 30 common operational taxonomic units were correlated between siblings across time points. These belonged to the bacterial classes Actinobacteria, Bacilli, Bacteroidia, Clostridia, Erysipelotrichia, and Negativicutes. Besides the influence of BMF and weight variables on the gut microbial diversity, our study identified gut microbial similarities between siblings that suggest genetic or shared maternal and environmental effects on the preterm infant gut microbiota. View Full-Text
Keywords: preterm infant; gut microbiota; human milk; twins; triplets preterm infant; gut microbiota; human milk; twins; triplets
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lim, S.J.; Aguilar-Lopez, M.; Wetzel, C.; Dutra, S.V.O.; Bray, V.; Groer, M.W.; Donovan, S.M.; Ho, T. The Effects of Genetic Relatedness on the Preterm Infant Gut Microbiota. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 278. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020278

AMA Style

Lim SJ, Aguilar-Lopez M, Wetzel C, Dutra SVO, Bray V, Groer MW, Donovan SM, Ho T. The Effects of Genetic Relatedness on the Preterm Infant Gut Microbiota. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(2):278. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020278

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lim, Shen J.; Aguilar-Lopez, Miriam; Wetzel, Christine; Dutra, Samia V.O.; Bray, Vanessa; Groer, Maureen W.; Donovan, Sharon M.; Ho, Thao. 2021. "The Effects of Genetic Relatedness on the Preterm Infant Gut Microbiota" Microorganisms 9, no. 2: 278. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9020278

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