Four Gut Microbes Tied to Asthma Risk in Children

Gut Microbes, Asthma Risk
Gut Microbes, Asthma Risk

(HealthDay News) — The presence of four types of gut bacteria in infancy may reduce a child's risk for asthma, Canadian researchers report. The new report was published online September 30 in Science Translational Medicine.

Brett Finlay, PhD, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, and colleagues looked for four types of bacteria (Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia) in stool samples of 319 infants at 3 months of age.

The researchers found that 22 children with low levels of these bacteria at age 3 months also had low levels at age 1 year. These 22 children were at the highest risk of developing asthma, and eight have been diagnosed with the respiratory disease so far, the researchers said.

"Reduction in bacterial taxa was accompanied by reduced levels of fecal acetate and dysregulation of enterohepatic metabolites," the authors write. "Inoculation of germ-free mice with these four bacterial taxa ameliorated airway inflammation in their adult progeny, demonstrating a causal role of these bacterial taxa in averting asthma development."

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