Get access

Maternal intestinal flora and wheeze in early childhood

Authors

  • N. E. Lange,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    • Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • J. C. Celedón,

    1. Division of Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • E. Forno,

    1. Division of Pediatric Pulmonology, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • N. P. Ly,

    1. Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine, University of California San Francisco Children's Hospital and UCSF Medical School, San Francisco, CA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. Onderdonk,

    1. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • L. Bry,

    1. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. L. Delaney,

    1. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. M. DuBois,

    1. Department of Pathology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • D. R. Gold,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    3. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • S. T. Weiss,

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    3. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. A. Litonjua

    1. Channing Laboratory, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    2. Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
    3. Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA
    Search for more papers by this author

Correspondence:

Nancy E. Lange, Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 181 Longwood Ave. rm 454, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

E-mail: renal@channing.harvard.edu

Summary

Background

Increasing evidence links altered intestinal flora in infancy to eczema and asthma. No studies have investigated the influence of maternal intestinal flora on wheezing and eczema in early childhood.

Objective

To investigate the link between maternal intestinal flora during pregnancy and development of wheeze and eczema in infancy.

Methods

A total of 60 pregnant women from the Boston area gave stool samples during the third trimester of their pregnancy and answered questions during pregnancy about their own health, and about their children's health when the child was 2 and 6 months of age. Quantitative culture was performed on stool samples and measured in log10colony-forming units (CFU)/gram stool. Primary outcomes included infant wheeze and eczema in the first 6 months of life. Atopic wheeze, defined as wheeze and eczema, was analysed as a secondary outcome.

Results

In multivariate models adjusted for breastfeeding, day care attendance and maternal atopy, higher counts of maternal total aerobes (TA) and enterococci (E) were associated with increased risk of infant wheeze (TA: OR 2.32 for 1 log increase in CFU/g stool [95% CI 1.22, 4.42]; E: OR 1.57 [95% CI 1.06, 2.31]). No organisms were associated with either eczema or atopic wheeze.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance

In our cohort, higher maternal total aerobes and enterococci were related to increased risk of infant wheeze. Maternal intestinal flora may be an important environmental exposure in early immune system development.

Ancillary