Li W, Tapiainen T, Brinkac L, Lorenzi HA, Moncera K, Tejesvi M, Salo J, Nelson KE

Vertical transmission of gut microbiome and antimicrobial resistance genes in infants exposed to antibiotics at birth.

The Journal of infectious diseases. 2020-04-02;

Vertical transmission of maternal microbes is a major route for establishing the gut microbiome in newborns. The impact of perinatal antibiotics on vertical transmission of microbes and antimicrobial resistance is not well understood. Using a metagenomic approach, we analyzed the fecal samples from mothers and vaginally delivered infants from a control group (10 pairs) and a treatment group (10 pairs) receiving perinatal antibiotics. Antibiotic-usage had a significant impact on the main source of inoculum in the gut microbiome of newborns. The control group had significantly more species transmitted from mothers to infants (p=0.03) than the antibiotic-treated group. Approximately 72% of the gut microbial population of infants at 3-7 days after birth in the control group was transmitted from their mothers, versus only 25% in the antibiotic-treated group. In conclusion, perinatal antibiotics markedly disturbed vertical transmission and changed the source of gut colonization towards horizontal transfer from the environment to the infants.

PMID: 32239170