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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle

Preterm Infants Harbour a Rapidly Changing Mycobiota That Includes Candida Pathobionts

1
Gut Microbes and Health, Quadram Institute Bioscience, Norwich Research Park, Norwich NR4 7UQ, UK
2
Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Norwich NR4 7UY, UK
3
Norwich Medical School, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK
4
Ziel—Institute for Food and Health, Technical University of Munich, 85354 Freising, Germany
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Fungi 2020, 6(4), 273; https://doi.org/10.3390/jof6040273
Received: 26 October 2020 / Revised: 4 November 2020 / Accepted: 5 November 2020 / Published: 9 November 2020
Fungi and the mycobiome are a fundamental part of the human microbiome that contributes to human health and development. Despite this, relatively little is known about the mycobiome of the preterm infant gut. Here, we have characterised faecal fungal communities present in 11 premature infants born with differing degrees of prematurity and mapped how the mycobiome develops during early infancy. Using an ITS1 sequencing-based approach, the preterm infant gut mycobiome was found to be often dominated by a single species, typically a yeast. Candida was the most abundant genus, with the pathobionts C.albicans and C.parapsilosis highly prevalent and persistent in these infants. Gestational maturity at birth affected the distribution and abundance of these Candida, with hospital-associated C.parapsilosis more prevalent and abundant in infants born at less than 31 weeks. Fungal diversity was lowest at 6 months, but increased with age and change of diet, with food-associated Saccharomycescerevisiae most abundant in infants post weaning. This study provides a first insight into the fungal communities present within the preterm infant gut, identifying distinctive features including the prominence of pathobiont species, and the influence age and environmental factors play in shaping the development of the mycobiome. View Full-Text
Keywords: mycobiome; GI tract; preterm infant; early life; pathobiont; fungi; yeast; Candida parapsilosis mycobiome; GI tract; preterm infant; early life; pathobiont; fungi; yeast; Candida parapsilosis
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A. James, S.; Phillips, S.; Telatin, A.; Baker, D.; Ansorge, R.; Clarke, P.; J. Hall, L.; R. Carding, S. Preterm Infants Harbour a Rapidly Changing Mycobiota That Includes Candida Pathobionts. J. Fungi 2020, 6, 273.

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