Gut Microbiota Less Diverse in Infants Born by C-Section

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Differences in intestinal microbiota persisted in infants 2 years after cesarean delivery compared to vaginal delivery.

(HealthDay News) – Compared to infants born by vaginal delivery, those delivered by cesarean section (CS) exhibit altered intestinal microbiota, including lower total microbial diversity, delayed colonization of certain bacteria, and lower levels of certain chemokines, according to research published online Aug. 7 in Gut.

Hedvig E. Jakobsson, MD, of the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues assessed postnatal patterns of intestinal colonization in 24 infants born by CS (9) or vaginal delivery (15).

The researchers found that, during the first two years of life, infants delivered by CS had reduced total intestinal microbiota diversity, reduced abundance and diversity of the Bacteroidetes phylum, and reduced frequency of colonization with the Bacteroidetes phylum, compared with infants delivered vaginally. In addition, compared with infants born vaginally, infants born by CS had significantly lower blood levels of Th1-associated chemokines CXCL10 and CXCL11.

“Microbial colonization of the infant gut gastrointestinal tract is important for the postnatal development of the immune system,” the authors write. “In this study, CS-delivered infants who are not entering the birth canal of the mother either lacked or displayed a delayed colonization of one of the major gut phylum, the Bacteroidetes.”

One author was funded through a grant from Unilever.

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