Oral administration of probiotic bacteria to preterm neonates has been recommended to prevent the development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The influence of probiotics on the endogenous microbiome, however, has remained incompletely understood.
Study design & methods
Here, we performed an observational study including 80 preterm neonates born at a gestational age
Microbiota profiles differed significantly between the control group and both probiotic groups. Probiotic supplementation was associated with lower temporal variation as well as higher relative abundance of Bifidobacterium and Enterobacter combined with reduced abundance of Escherichia, Enterococcus, and Klebsiella. Colonization by probiotic bifidobacteria was observed in approximately 50% of infants although it remained transient in the majority of cases. A significantly reduced monthly incidence of NEC was observed in neonates supplemented with probiotics.
Our results demonstrate successful transient colonization by probiotic bacteria and a significant influence on the endogenous microbiota with a reduced abundance of bacterial taxa associated with the development of NEC. These results emphasize that probiotic supplementation may allow targeted manipulation of the enteric microbiota and confer a clinical benefit. (Clinical Trial Registry accession number: DRKS/GCTR 00021034)
- enteric microbiota
- probiotic supplementation
- necrotizing enterocolitis
- HUMAN GUT MICROBIOME
- NECROTIZING ENTEROCOLITIS