Gut microbiota profiles of young South Indian children: Child sex-specific relations with growth

Nirupama Shivakumar, Ambily Sivadas, Sarita Devi, Farook Jahoor, John Mclaughlin, Craig P. Smith, Anura V. Kurpad, Arpita Mukhopadhyay, Erwin G. Zoetendal (Editor)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Gut microbiota has been implicated as a modifier of childhood growth. Here, 16S rRNA sequencing-based fecal microbiota profiles of 18–24 month old Indian children were evaluated (n = 41), in relation to their anthropometric parameters, intestinal permeability, body composition and total energy expenditure. Pathway analyses were conducted to assess microbial functions related to stunting, underweight and wasting. The fecal microbiota was enriched in Prevotella 9, Bifidobacterium and Escherichia-Shigella. Weight, weight-for-age Z-scores (WAZ) and weight-for-length Z-scores (WLZ), along with age, acted as covariates of microbiota variation specifically in boys (n = 23). Bifidobacterium longum subsp longum abundance was positively associated with WAZ while Bifidobacterium bifidum and Bifidobacterium breve abundances were negatively associated with age. The lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis pathway was upregulated in stunted (n = 16) and wasted (n = 8) children. Findings from this study indicate that child sex may be a critical modifier of the role of gut microbiota on childhood growth.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0251803
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Early online date14 May 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 May 2021


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