Background: Emerging evidence points to a critical role of the developing gut microbiome in immune maturation and infant health; however, prospective studies are lacking.Methods: We examined the occurrence of infections and associated symptoms during the first year of life in relation to the infant gut microbiome at six weeks of age using bacterial 16S rRNA V4-V5 gene sequencing (N=465) and shotgun metagenomics (N=185). We used generalized estimating equations to assess the associations between longitudinal outcomes and 16S alpha diversity and metagenomics species.Results: Here we show higher infant gut microbiota alpha diversity was associated with an increased risk of infections or respiratory symptoms treated with a prescription medicine, and specifically upper respiratory tract infections. Among vaginally delivered infants, a higher alpha diversity was associated with an increased risk of all-cause wheezing treated with a prescription medicine and diarrhea involving a visit to a health care provider. Positive associations were specifically observed with Veillonella species among all deliveries and Haemophilus influenzae among cesarean-delivered infants.Conclusion: Our findings suggest that intestinal microbial diversity and the relative abundance of key taxa in early infancy may influence susceptibility to respiratory infection, wheezing, and diarrhea.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s43856-022-00152-1
View details for PubMedID 35847562