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Original Research ARTICLE Provisionally accepted The full-text will be published soon. Notify me

Front. Pediatr. | doi: 10.3389/fped.2019.00099

The characteristics of intestinal microbiota in very low birth weight infants with extrauterine growth restriction

Hongping Li1, Zhijiang He2, Di Gao1, Yuanhong Lv1, Queyun Zhou1,  Bin Xiao1 and Weimin Huang1*
  • 1Shenzhen Children's Hospital, China
  • 2Shenzhen University General Hospital, China

Objective: Very low birth weight (VLBW) infants, which experience significant postnatal growth restriction at the time of discharge, are at high risk of later growth failure and long-term consequences. This study aims to characterize the structure of intestinal microbiome community in VLBW infants with extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR).
Methods: 23 VLBW infants appropriate for gestational age hospitalized at the neonatal intensive care unit of the BaoAn Maternal and Child Care Hospital (Shenzhen, China) were enrolled in this study, which were divided into the growth restriction group (EUGR; n = 12) and the normal growth group (AGA; n = 11). Meconium and fecal samples at postnatal day 28 were collected respectively during hospitalization. Total bacterial DNA was extracted and sequenced using the Illumina MiSeq Sequencing System based on the V3-V4 hyper-variable regions of the 16S rRNA gene.
Results: The intestinal bacterial communities of preterm infants were dominated by the phylum Proteobacteria. Compared with the AGA group, the relative abundances of the genera Aeromicrobium and Serratia in meconium samples significantly decreased, whereas genera Parabacteroides, Ruminococcus, Blautia, and Aeromonas were more prevalent in the EUGR group. On postnatal day 28, the relative abundances of the genera Parabacteroides, Bacteroides, Eubacterium, Granulicatella and Salinivibrio were significantly different between the two groups, where genus Salinivibrio decreased significantly in the EUGR samples. Among them, genus Parabacteroides was more abundant on both postnatal day 1 and day 28. Further KEGG prediction analysis showed that there were many differences in functional genes and pathways between the two groups on postnatal day 28, but not on day 1, the majority of which were related to energy metabolism. And no statistical differences were observed in the clinical characteristics of infants.
Conclusions: Overall, these findings showed that a distinct gut microbiota profile presented in preterm infants with extrauterine growth restriction. The role of intestinal microbiome in the extrauterine growth of preterm infants during hospitalization should be further investigated.

Keywords: extrauterine growth retardation, Very low birth weight, gut microbiome, 16S rRNA sequencing, preterm infants, NICu

Received: 07 Sep 2018; Accepted: 04 Mar 2019.

Edited by:

Heber C. Nielsen, Tufts Medical Center, United States

Reviewed by:

Naveed Hussain, University of Connecticut Health Center, United States
Janet E. Berrington, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, United Kingdom
Liza Konnikova, University of Pittsburgh, United States  

Copyright: © 2019 Li, He, Gao, Lv, Zhou, Xiao and Huang. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

* Correspondence: Mr. Weimin Huang, Shenzhen Children's Hospital, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province, China,