The Human Microbiome and Its Potential Importance to Pediatrics

Department of Pathology and Immunology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
PEDIATRICS (Impact Factor: 5.47). 04/2012; 129(5):950-60. DOI: 10.1542/peds.2011-2736
Source: PubMed


The human body is home to more than 1 trillion microbes, with the gastrointestinal tract alone harboring a diverse array of commensal microbes that are believed to contribute to host nutrition, developmental regulation of intestinal angiogenesis, protection from pathogens, and development of the immune response. Recent advances in genome sequencing technologies and metagenomic analysis are providing a broader understanding of these resident microbes and highlighting differences between healthy and disease states. The aim of this review is to provide a detailed summary of current pediatric microbiome studies in the literature, in addition to highlighting recent findings and advancements in studies of the adult microbiome. This review also seeks to elucidate the development of, and factors that could lead to changes in, the composition and function of the human microbiome.

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    • "Longitudinal studies have demonstrated profound short and long-term effects of antibiotics on the diversity and composition of the microbiota (Rodriguez et al., 2015). Neonatal antibiotic usage reduces the diversity of the Bifidobacterium spp and Bacteroides (Hussey et al., 2011, Johnson and Versalovic, 2012). There are also some recent indications that an adult-like stable and diverse microbiota might not be acquired until adolescence which, if confirmed, greatly extends the time window during which the microbiota can influence the CNS (Agans et al., 2011). "
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    ABSTRACT: The prenatal and postnatal early-life periods are both dynamic and vulnerable windows for brain development. During these important neurodevelopmental phases, essential processes and structures are established. Exposure to adverse events that interfere with this critical sequence of events confers a high risk for the subsequent emergence of mental illness later in life. It is increasingly accepted that the gastrointestinal microbiota contributes substantially to shaping the development of the central nervous system. Conversely, several studies have shown that early-life events can also impact on this gut community. Due to the bidirectional communication between the gut and the brain, it is possible that aberrant situations affecting either organ in early life can impact on the other. Studies have now shown that deviations from the gold standard trajectory of gut microbiota establishment and development in early life can lead to not only disorders of the gastrointestinal tract but also complex metabolic and immune disorders. These are being extended to disorders of the central nervous system and understanding how the gut microbiome shapes brain and behavior during early life is an important new frontier in neuroscience.
    Neuroscience 10/2015; DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.09.068 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "This is further supported by studies associating dysbiosis in early life with immune-mediated childhood disorders [38] [39] [40] and obesity [41] [42]. Dysbioses can arise from common pediatric practices, including preterm delivery, formula feeding, cesarean section, and use of antibiotics [42] [43] (Fig. 1). Interestingly, cesarean section [43] and antibiotic use [44] are independently associated with an increased susceptibility to immune-mediated disease, potentially through dysregulation of host immune homeostasis [44] [45]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The early postnatal period is a critical window for intestinal and immune maturation. Intestinal development and microbiome diversity and composition differ between breast- (BF) and formula-fed (FF) infants. Mechanistic examination into host–microbe relationships in healthy infants has been hindered by ethical constraints surrounding tissue biopsies. Thus, a statistically rigorous analytical framework to simultaneously examine both host and microbial responses to dietary/environmental factors using exfoliated intestinal epithelial cells was developed. Differential expression of ∼1200 genes, including genes regulating intestinal proliferation, differentiation and barrier function, was observed between BF and FF term infants. Canonical correlation analysis uncovered a relationship between microbiome virulence genes and host immunity and defense genes. Lastly, exfoliated cells from preterm and term infants were compared. Pathways associated with immune cell function and inflammation were up-regulated in preterm, whereas cell growth-related genes were up-regulated in the term infants. Thus, coordinate measurement of the transcriptomes of exfoliated epithelial cells and microbiome allows inquiry into mutualistic host–microbe interactions in the infant, which can be used to prospectively study gut development or, retrospectively, to identify potential triggers of disease in banked samples.
    FEBS Letters 11/2014; 588(22). DOI:10.1016/j.febslet.2014.07.008 · 3.17 Impact Factor
    • "From birth, the intestinal microbiota develops rapidly in a succession of bacterial strains. Numerous host and environmental factors are associated with this process [8e10], and importantly, the development of the intestinal microbiota has been connected to that of a number of health problems such as gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and even overweight [9] [11]. Despite the reported significance of microbiota development, composition and activity, very few studies have monitored it over a longer term, perhaps due to difficulties in organizing a controlled follow-up. "
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    ABSTRACT: Microbial contact begins prior to birth and continues rapidly thereafter. Few long term follow-up studies have been reported and we therefore characterized the development of intestinal microbiota of ten subjects from the 2(nd) week of life to 13 years of age. PCR-denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis combined with several bacterial group specific primer sets demonstrated the colonization steps of defined bacterial groups in the microbiota. Bifidobacterium species were seen throughout the test period in all subjects. Bacteroides fragilis group and Blautia coccoides-Eubacterium rectale group species were not detected in several subjects during the first 6 months of life but were commonly seen after 12 months of life. Streptococcus group appeared during early life but was not seen in several subjects at the age of 13 years. Although a few species were linked with the increasing age, major bacterial species in the groups did not change dramatically. Rather considerable changes were found in the relative abundances of each bacterial species. Clustering analysis of total bacterial flora indicated that the microbiota changed considerably between 6 months and 12 months of life, and, at the age of 12 months, the intestinal microbiota was already converted toward a profile characteristic of an adult microbiota. Probiotic supplementation in the beginning of life did not have major impacts on later microbiota development.
    Anaerobe 06/2014; 28. DOI:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2014.06.006 · 2.48 Impact Factor
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