Perturbations of the infant gut microbiota can shape development of the immune system and link to the risk of allergic diseases.Objective:
We sought to understand the role of the gut microbiome in patients with atopic dermatitis (AD). The metagenome of the infant gut microbiome was analyzed according to feeding types.Methods:
Composition of the gut microbiota was analyzed in fecal samples from 129 infants (6 months old) by using pyrosequencing, including 66 healthy infants and 63 infants with AD. The functional profile of the gut microbiome was analyzed by means of whole-metagenome sequencing (20 control subjects and 20 patients with AD). In addition, the total number of bacteria in the feces was determined by using real-time PCR.Results:
The gut microbiome of 6-month-old infants was different based on feeding types, and 2 microbiota groups (Bifidobacteriumspecies–dominated andEscherichia/Veillonellaspecies–dominated groups) were found in breast-fed and mixed-fed infants. Bacterial cell amounts in the feces were lower in infants with AD than in control infants. Although no specific taxa directly correlated with AD in 16S rRNA gene results, whole-metagenome analysis revealed differences in functional genes related to immune development. The reduction in genes for oxidative phosphorylation, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase–Akt signaling, estrogen signaling, nucleotide-binding domain–like receptor signaling, and antigen processing and presentation induced by reduced colonization of mucin-degrading bacteria (Akkermansia muciniphila,Ruminococcus gnavus, andLachnospiraceaebacterium 2_1_58FAA) was significantly associated with stunted immune development in the AD group compared with the control group (P< .05).Conclusions:
Alterations in the gut microbiome can be associated with AD because of different bacterial genes that can modulate host immune cell function.