Transition from infant- to adult-like gut microbiota

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Abstract

Transition from an infant to an adult associated gut microbiota with age through establishment of strict anaerobic bacteria remains one of the key unresolved questions in gut microbial ecology. Here a comprehensive comparative analysis of stool microbiota in a large cohort of mothers and their children sampled longitudinally up until 2 years of age using sequencing analysis tool was presented that allows realistic microbial diversity estimates. In this work, evidence for the switch from children to adult associated microbial profile between 1 and 2 years of age was provided, suggestively driven byBifidobacterium breve. An Operational Taxonomic Unit (OTU) belonging toB. brevewas highly prevalent in the population throughout the first year of life, and was negatively associated with detection of a range of adult-like OTUs. Although an adult profile was not fully established by 2 years of age, it was demonstrated that with regards to the most prevalent OTUs, their prevalence in the child population by then already resembled that of the adult population. Taken together, it was proposed that late-colonizing OTUs were recruited at a later stage and were not acquired at birth with the recruitment being controlled by gatekeeping OTUs until the age of 1 year.

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