Gestational diabetes mellitus is associated with reduced dynamics of gut microbiota during the first half of pregnancy

Wei Zheng, Qian Xu, Wenyu Huang, Qi Yan, Yating Chen, Li Zhang, Zhihong Tian, Ting Liu, Xianxian Yuan, Cheng Liu, Jinying Luo, Cuimei Guo, Wei Song, Lirui Zhang, Xin Liang, Huanlong Qin, Guanghui Li*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


Women with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) have different gut microbiota in late pregnancy compared to women without GDM. It remains unclear whether alterations of gut microbiota can be identified prior to the diagnosis of GDM. This study characterized dynamic changes of gut microbiota from the first trimester (T1) to the second trimester (T2) and evaluated their relationship with later development of GDM. Compared with the control group (n = 103), the GDM group (n = 31) exhibited distinct dynamics of gut microbiota, evidenced by taxonomic, functional, and structural shifts from T1 to T2. Linear discriminant analysis (LDA) revealed that there were 10 taxa in T1 and 7 in T2 that differed in relative abundance between the GDM and control groups, including a consistent decrease in the levels of Coprococcus and Streptococcus in the GDM group. While the normoglycemic women exhibited substantial variations of gut microbiota from T1 to T2, their GDM-developing counterparts exhibited clearly reduced inter-time point shifts, as corroborated by the results of Wilcoxon signed-rank test and balance tree analysis. Moreover, cooccurrence network analysis revealed that the interbacterial interactions in the GDM group were minimal compared with those in the control group. In conclusion, lower numbers of dynamic changes in gut microbiota in the first half of pregnancy are associated with the development of GDM. IMPORTANCE GDM is one of the most common metabolic disorders during pregnancy and is associated with adverse short-term and long-term maternal and fetal outcomes. The aim of this study was to examine the connection between dynamic variations in gut microbiota and development of GDM. Whereas shifts in gut microbiota composition and function have been previously reported to be associated with GDM, very little is known regarding the early microbial changes that occur before the diagnosis of GDM. This study demonstrated that the dynamics in gut microbiota during the first half of pregnancy differed significantly between GDM and normoglycemic women. Our findings suggested that gut microbiota may potentially serve as an early biomarker for GDM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00109-20
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 2020


  • First trimester
  • GDM
  • Gestational diabetes mellitus
  • Gut microbiota
  • Second trimester
  • T1
  • T2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Molecular Biology
  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Microbiology
  • Modeling and Simulation


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