Changes in the gut microbiota of Nigerian infants within the first year of life

Omolanke T. Oyedemi, Sophie Shaw, Jennifer Martin, Funmilola A. Ayeni, Karen Scott

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11 Citations (Scopus)
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The composition of the gut microbiota plays an important role in maintaining the balance between health and disease. However, there is considerably less information on the composition of the gut microbiota of non-Western communities. This study was designed to investigate the evolution in the gut microbiota in a cohort of Nigerian infants within the first year of life. Faecal samples were obtained monthly from 28 infants from birth for one year. The infants had been born by a mix of natural birth and caesarean section and were either breast-fed or mixed fed. Sequencing of the V1-V2 region of the 16S rRNA gene was used to characterise the microbiota. Short chain fatty acids and lactate present in each faecal sample were identified by gas chromatography. Microbial differences were observed between the vaginal and caesarean section delivered infants in samples collected within 7 days of life, although these differences were not observed in later samples. Exclusively breastfed infants had predominance of Ruminococcus gnavus, Collinsella, and Sutterella species. Different Bifidobacterium species dominated breast-fed compared to mixed fed infants. Clostridium, Enterococcus, Roseburia, and Coprococcus species were observed once the infants commenced weaning. Butyrate was first detected when weaning started between months 4–6 in the majority of the infants while total short chain fatty acid concentrations increased, and acetate and lactate remained high following the introduction of solid foods. The observed taxonomic differences in the gut microbiota between Nigerian infants, as well as butyrate production during weaning, were strongly influenced by diet, and not by birthing method. Introduction of local/solid foods encouraged the colonisation and evolution of specific marker organisms associated with carbohydrate metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0265123
Number of pages18
JournalPloS ONE
Issue number3
Early online date17 Mar 2022
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2022

Bibliographical note

We would like to thank our recruited Mums and babies for providing the samples without which this study would not have been possible. We thank the Centre for Genome Enabled Biology and Medicine for Illumina sequencing and useful discussions.


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