Prenatal adverse exposures have been associated with increased risks of developing respiratory diseases in children. The infant nasal microbiome is an important mechanism and indicator.background
To characterize and compare the nasal microbiome of infants who were in utero and exposed to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico during 2017, with that of infants who were conceived at least five months after the Hurricane as controls.
We recruited 63 vaginally born infants, in which n=29 were in the exposure group and n=34 were in the control group. Nasal swab samples were collected and analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing at the community and taxa levels respectively.
Infants in the exposure group were more likely to harbor a Staphylococcus-Streptococcus dominant microbial community in their nose. The richness and diversity of the microbiome was significantly higher in the exposure group compared to the control group. The bacterial genera Rhodocista, Azospirillum, Massilia, Herbaspirillum, Aquabacterium, and Pseudomonas were enriched, while Corynebacterium and Ralstonia were depleted in the exposure group. Food insecurity due to Hurricane Maria was associated with an increase of Pseudomonas in the infant nasal microbiome.results
Infants who were exposed to Hurricane Maria during gestation had an altered nasal microbiome with a higher prevalence of environmental bacteria. More research is needed to evaluate the long-term impacts of extreme weather events that occur in the prenatal stage on a child’s nasal microbiome and respiratory health.conclusion
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Global – Click to read more