Lower Microbial Diversity for Infants Who Develop Colic

Specific microbial signature seen as early as 1 to 2 weeks; significantly different to control infants

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MONDAY, Jan. 14 (HealthDay News) -- In the first weeks of life, specific microbial signatures are present in infants who subsequently develop colic, according to research published online Jan. 14 in Pediatrics.

Carolina de Weerth, Ph.D., of the Radboud University in Nijmegen, Netherlands, and colleagues took more than 200 samples of microbial DNA from 12 infants with colic and 12 age-matched controls to examine the fecal microbiota during the 100 first days of life.

The researchers found that, in the control group, microbial diversity increased gradually after birth, and that compared with the control group, infants with colic had significantly lower microbial diversity. In addition, the stability of the successive samples was significantly lower in infants with colic for the first few weeks. At age 1 or 2 weeks, the earliest ages with significant differences, proteobacteria were significantly increased and bifidobacteria and lactobacilli were significantly reduced among infants with colic.

"The reduced diversity and specific microbiota signature observed in infants with colic already in the first weeks of age could suggest a role of microbiota development in the etiology of colic, as both well precede the usual colic peak (i.e., ~6 weeks after birth)," the authors write. "The findings may aid the future development of tests designed to predict the development of colic as well as specific therapies for prevention of colic."

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