Early-life skin microbiota in hospitalized preterm and full-term infants

Noelle E. Younge, Félix Araújo-Pérez, Debra Brandon, Patrick Casey Seed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: The infant skin microbiota may serve as a reservoir of bacteria that contribute to neonatal infections and stimulate local and systemic immune development. The objectives of our study were to characterize the skin microbiota of preterm and full-term infants during their birth hospitalization and describe its relationship to the microbiota of other body sites and the hospital environment. RESULTS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 129 infants, including 40 preterm and 89 full-term infants. Samples were collected from five sites: the forehead and posterior auricular scalp (skin upper body); the periumbilical region, inguinal folds, and upper thighs (skin lower body); the oral cavity; the infant's immediate environment; and stool. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, and enteric Gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia and Enterobacter dominated the skin microbiota. The preterm infant microbiota at multiple sites had lower alpha diversity and greater enrichment with Staphylococcus and Escherichia than the microbiota of comparable sites in full-term infants. The community structure was highly variable among individuals but differed significantly by body site, postnatal age, and gestational age. Source tracking indicated that each body site both contributed to and received microbiota from other body sites and the hospital environment. CONCLUSION: The skin microbiota of preterm and full-term infants varied across individuals, by body site, and by the infant's developmental stage. The skin harbored many organisms that are common pathogens in hospitalized infants. Bacterial source tracking suggests that microbiota are commonly exchanged across body sites and the hospital environment as microbial communities mature in infancy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages1
JournalMicrobiome
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 31 2018

Fingerprint

Microbiota
Skin
Escherichia
Staphylococcus
Enterobacter
Forehead
Groin
Enterococcus
Enterobacteriaceae
Thigh
Streptococcus
Scalp
Gram-Negative Bacteria
Premature Infants
Gestational Age
Mouth
Hospitalization
Cross-Sectional Studies
Parturition
Bacteria

Keywords

  • Cutaneous
  • Escherichia
  • Microbiome
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Neonate
  • Staphylococcus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)

Cite this

Younge, Noelle E. ; Araújo-Pérez, Félix ; Brandon, Debra ; Seed, Patrick Casey. / Early-life skin microbiota in hospitalized preterm and full-term infants. In: Microbiome. 2018 ; Vol. 6, No. 1.
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Early-life skin microbiota in hospitalized preterm and full-term infants. / Younge, Noelle E.; Araújo-Pérez, Félix; Brandon, Debra; Seed, Patrick Casey.

In: Microbiome, Vol. 6, No. 1, 31.05.2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AU - Brandon, Debra

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N2 - BACKGROUND: The infant skin microbiota may serve as a reservoir of bacteria that contribute to neonatal infections and stimulate local and systemic immune development. The objectives of our study were to characterize the skin microbiota of preterm and full-term infants during their birth hospitalization and describe its relationship to the microbiota of other body sites and the hospital environment. RESULTS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 129 infants, including 40 preterm and 89 full-term infants. Samples were collected from five sites: the forehead and posterior auricular scalp (skin upper body); the periumbilical region, inguinal folds, and upper thighs (skin lower body); the oral cavity; the infant's immediate environment; and stool. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, and enteric Gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia and Enterobacter dominated the skin microbiota. The preterm infant microbiota at multiple sites had lower alpha diversity and greater enrichment with Staphylococcus and Escherichia than the microbiota of comparable sites in full-term infants. The community structure was highly variable among individuals but differed significantly by body site, postnatal age, and gestational age. Source tracking indicated that each body site both contributed to and received microbiota from other body sites and the hospital environment. CONCLUSION: The skin microbiota of preterm and full-term infants varied across individuals, by body site, and by the infant's developmental stage. The skin harbored many organisms that are common pathogens in hospitalized infants. Bacterial source tracking suggests that microbiota are commonly exchanged across body sites and the hospital environment as microbial communities mature in infancy.

AB - BACKGROUND: The infant skin microbiota may serve as a reservoir of bacteria that contribute to neonatal infections and stimulate local and systemic immune development. The objectives of our study were to characterize the skin microbiota of preterm and full-term infants during their birth hospitalization and describe its relationship to the microbiota of other body sites and the hospital environment. RESULTS: We conducted a cross-sectional study of 129 infants, including 40 preterm and 89 full-term infants. Samples were collected from five sites: the forehead and posterior auricular scalp (skin upper body); the periumbilical region, inguinal folds, and upper thighs (skin lower body); the oral cavity; the infant's immediate environment; and stool. Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, Enterococcus, and enteric Gram-negative bacteria including Escherichia and Enterobacter dominated the skin microbiota. The preterm infant microbiota at multiple sites had lower alpha diversity and greater enrichment with Staphylococcus and Escherichia than the microbiota of comparable sites in full-term infants. The community structure was highly variable among individuals but differed significantly by body site, postnatal age, and gestational age. Source tracking indicated that each body site both contributed to and received microbiota from other body sites and the hospital environment. CONCLUSION: The skin microbiota of preterm and full-term infants varied across individuals, by body site, and by the infant's developmental stage. The skin harbored many organisms that are common pathogens in hospitalized infants. Bacterial source tracking suggests that microbiota are commonly exchanged across body sites and the hospital environment as microbial communities mature in infancy.

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