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 in early life on the diversity and composition of the microbiota (Rodriguez et al., 2015). Neonatal antibiotic usage reduces the diversity of the gut microbiota (Johnson and Versalovic, 2012) and leads to altered central nervous system signaling (O'Mahony et al., 2014). There are also some recent indications that an adult-like stable and diverse microbiota might not be acquired until adolescence, which greatly extends the time window during which the microbiota can influence health outcomes (Desbonnet et al., 2015). "
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    ABSTRACT: Many childhood diseases such as autism spectrum disorders, allergic disease, and obesity are on the increase. Although environmental factors are thought to play a role in this increase. The mechanisms at play are unclear but increasing evidence points to an interaction with the gastrointestinal microbiota as being potentially important. Recently this community of bacteria and perturbation of its colonization in early life has been linked to a number of diseases. Many factors are capable of influencing this colonization and ultimately leading to an altered gut microbiota which is known to affect key systems within the body. The impact of the microbial composition of our gastrointestinal tract on systems outside the gut is also becoming apparent. Here we highlight the factors that are capable of impacting on microbiota colonization in early-life and the developing systems that are affected and finally how this may be involved in the manifestation of childhood diseases. Birth Defects Research (Part C), 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · Birth Defects Research Part C Embryo Today Reviews
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    • "Infants born vaginally were colonized predominantly by Lactobacillus spp , microbiota that helps in the digestion of milk oligosaccharides (Johnson and Versalovic 2012 ). The C-section infants, however, were colonized by a mixture of potentially pathogenic bacteria that are usually found on the skin and in hospitals, such as Staphylococcus and Acinetobacter (Johnson and Versalovic 2012 ; Mueller et al. 2015 ). Although these differences in the composition of the microbiota are temporary, previous studies suggest that C-section born babies are more likely to develop allergies, asthma and other immune and neuronal system–related disorders than are babies born vaginally (Mueller et al. 2015 ). "
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    ABSTRACT: The gut microbiome plays a crucial role in host physiology. Disruption of its community structure and function can have wide-ranging effects making it critical to understand exactly how the interactive dialogue between the host and its microbiota is regulated to maintain homeostasis. An array of multidirectional signalling molecules is clearly involved in the host-microbiome communication. This interactive signalling not only impacts the gastrointestinal tract, where the majority of microbiota resides, but also extends to affect other host systems including the brain and liver as well as the microbiome itself. Understanding the mechanistic principles of this inter-kingdom signalling is fundamental to unravelling how our supraorganism function to maintain wellbeing, subsequently opening up new avenues for microbiome manipulation to favour desirable mental health outcome.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2015 · Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
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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.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · FEBS Letters
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