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Developmental trajectory of the healthy human gut microbiota during the first 5 years of life

Article in Cell Host & Microbe, March 31, 2021

The gut is inhabited by a densely populated ecosystem, the gut microbiota, that is established at birth. However, the succession by which different bacteria are incorporated into the gut microbiota is still relatively unknown. Josefine Roswall, Lisa Olsson et al analyze the microbiota from 471 Swedish children followed from birth to 5 years of age, collecting samples after 4 and 12 months and at 3 and 5 years of age as well as from their mothers at birth using 16S rRNA gene profiling. We also compare their microbiota to an adult Swedish population. Genera follow 4 different colonization patterns during establishment where Methanobrevibacter and Christensenellaceae colonize late and do not reached adult levels at 5 years. These late colonizers correlate with increased alpha diversity in both children and adults. By following the children through age-specific community types, we observe that children have individual dynamics in the gut microbiota development trajectory.

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