Bacteriological and immunological profiling of meconium and fecal samples from preterm infants: A two-year follow-up study

Marta Gómez, Laura Moles, Irene Espinosa-Martos, Gerardo Bustos, Willem M. De Vos, Leónides Fernández, Juan M. Rodríguez, Susana Fuentes*, Esther Jiménez

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


An abnormal colonization pattern of the preterm gut may affect immune maturation and exert a long-term influence on the intestinal bacterial composition and host health. However, follow-up studies assessing the evolution of the fecal microbiota of infants that were born preterm are very scarce. In this work, the bacterial compositions of fecal samples, obtained from sixteen 2-year-old infants were evaluated using a phylogenetic microarray; subsequently, the results were compared with those obtained in a previous study from samples of meconium and feces collected from the same infants while they stayed in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). In parallel, the concentration of a wide range of cytokines, chemokines, growth factors and immunoglobulins were determined in meconium and fecal samples. Globally, a higher bacterial diversity and a lower interindividual variability were observed in 2-year-olds’ feces, when compared to the samples obtained during their first days of life. Hospital-associated fecal bacteria, that were dominant during the NICU stay, seemed to be replaced, two years later, by genera, which are usually predominant in the healthy adult microbiome. The immune profile of the meconium and fecal samples differed, depending on the sampling time, showing different immune maturation statuses of the gut.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1293
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • DNA microarray
  • Immune maturation
  • Infant gut microbiota
  • Prematurity

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