Thursday, 28 November 2019

Mode of delivery at birth may play key role in shaping the child's skin microbiome



The maturation of skin microbial communities during childhood is important for the skin health of children and development of the immune system into adulthood, but only a few studies have analyzed the microbiota in young children. In a new study, investigators in China found that bacterial genera in children were more similar to those of their own mothers than to those of unrelated women. Their data suggest that the mode of delivery at birth could be an important factor in shaping the child's microbiome.

"To date, research into the maternal influence on her child's skin microbiome has been mostly limited to a narrow postpartum window in children younger than one year old and fewer studies have explored the maternal relationship with the child's microflora after infancy," explained lead investigator Zhe-Xue Quan, Ministry of Education Key Laboratory for Biodiversity Science and Ecological Engineering, Institute of Biodiversity Science, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. "Therefore, we expanded the scope of our analysis to include sampling from different body sites and direct comparison to the mother of the child in order to provide novel insights."

Investigators examined the changes in the skin microbiota and analyzed relationships between the skin microbiome and microenvironment as well as between the microbiota composition of children and mothers in 158 children between one and ten years old. The mothers of 50 of these children were randomly selected and recruited to represent different child age groups. Microbiota structures between the children and their mothers were compared using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Samples were taken from three skin sites: center of the cheek; one quarter of the length of the forearm from the hand; and the center of the calf. Data for 474 samples (three skin sites per child) were pooled into 36 groups according to age, gender, and skin site.


Sample location and age were the primary factors determining a child's skin bacterial composition, which differed significantly among the three sites. However, there was negative correlation between the abundances of Streptococcus and Granulicatella and age. The relative abundances of most bacterial genera in children were more similar to those of their own mothers than those of unrelated women. The facial bacterial composition of 10-year-old children was strongly associated with whether they were born by Caesarian section or vaginal delivery.

See:

Ting Zhu, Xing Liu, Fan-Qi Kong, Yuan-Yuan Duan, Alyson L. Yee, Madeline Kim, Carlos Galzote, Jack A. Gilbert, Zhe-Xue Quan. Age and Mothers: Potent Influences of Children’s Skin Microbiota. Journal of Investigative Dermatology, 2019; DOI: 10.1016/j.jid.2019.05.018

Posted by Dr. Tim Sandle, Pharmaceutical Microbiology

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