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Family SES Is Associated with the Gut Microbiome in Infants and Children

Neurogenomics Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA
Department of Biological Sciences, Wellesley College, Wellesley, MA 02481, USA
Advanced Baby Imaging Lab, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI 02903, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912, USA
Psychology Department, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
Pathogen and Microbiome Division, Translational Genomics Research Institute North (TGen), Flagstaff, AZ 86005, USA
MNCH D&T, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Pramod Gopal
Microorganisms 2021, 9(8), 1608;
Received: 3 June 2021 / Revised: 12 July 2021 / Accepted: 21 July 2021 / Published: 28 July 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Gut Microbiota)
Background: While early life exposures such as mode of birth, breastfeeding, and antibiotic use are established regulators of microbiome composition in early childhood, recent research suggests that the social environment may also exert influence. Two recent studies in adults demonstrated associations between socioeconomic factors and microbiome composition. This study expands on this prior work by examining the association between family socioeconomic status (SES) and host genetics with microbiome composition in infants and children. Methods: Family SES was used to predict a latent variable representing six genera abundances generated from whole-genome shotgun sequencing. A polygenic score derived from a microbiome genome-wide association study was included to control for potential genetic associations. Associations between family SES and microbiome diversity were assessed. Results: Anaerostipes, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, Faecalibacterium, and Lachnospiraceae spp. significantly loaded onto a latent factor, which was significantly predicted by SES (p < 0.05) but not the polygenic score (p > 0.05). Our results indicate that SES did not predict alpha diversity but did predict beta diversity (p < 0.001). Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that modifiable environmental factors influence gut microbiome composition at an early age. These results are important as our understanding of gut microbiome influences on health continue to expand. View Full-Text
Keywords: socioeconomic status; infant; childhood; microbiome; stress socioeconomic status; infant; childhood; microbiome; stress
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lewis, C.R.; Bonham, K.S.; McCann, S.H.; Volpe, A.R.; D’Sa, V.; Naymik, M.; De Both, M.D.; Huentelman, M.J.; Lemery-Chalfant, K.; Highlander, S.K.; Deoni, S.C.L.; Klepac-Ceraj, V. Family SES Is Associated with the Gut Microbiome in Infants and Children. Microorganisms 2021, 9, 1608.

AMA Style

Lewis CR, Bonham KS, McCann SH, Volpe AR, D’Sa V, Naymik M, De Both MD, Huentelman MJ, Lemery-Chalfant K, Highlander SK, Deoni SCL, Klepac-Ceraj V. Family SES Is Associated with the Gut Microbiome in Infants and Children. Microorganisms. 2021; 9(8):1608.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Lewis, Candace R., Kevin S. Bonham, Shelley H. McCann, Alexandra R. Volpe, Viren D’Sa, Marcus Naymik, Matt D. De Both, Matthew J. Huentelman, Kathryn Lemery-Chalfant, Sarah K. Highlander, Sean C.L. Deoni, and Vanja Klepac-Ceraj. 2021. "Family SES Is Associated with the Gut Microbiome in Infants and Children" Microorganisms 9, no. 8: 1608.

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