Microbial community structure Analysis and metabolomic inference Detailing the impact of probiotics on The gut of preterm infants at risk of Necrotising enterocolitis and sepsis

  • Libby Clements

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    Preterm infants (born before 37 weeks gestation) are highly susceptible to disease,
    with necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and late-onset sepsis (LOS) having the greatest
    impact on mortality and morbidity. This study investigated gut microbiome
    interactions, examining the influence of bacterial abundance, probiotics,
    metagenomic pathways and the short chain fatty acid (SCFA) butyric acid under
    disease pressures.
    16S rRNA MiSeq Illumina Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) was applied to
    preterm infant stool samples in Chapter 3: (N=2, n=16) with probiotics and LOS; and
    Chapter 4: (N=34, n=172) of which NEC (N=13, n=66), No NEC (N=21, n=106), LOS
    (N=5, n=24), No LOS (N=29, n=148), with probiotics (N=19, n=79) without probiotics
    (N=15, n=93). Chapter 5: SCFAs in mothers breast milk samples (N=16, n=59),
    were analysed (UPLC-QTOF MS); without NEC (N=10, n=43,) with NEC (N=6,
    n=16), with LOS (N=2, n=13) and without LOS (N=14, n=46).
    Chapter 3: Bifidobacterium abundance increased before sepsis. Infant 1 had
    reduced Staphylococcus (p-value < 0.001) and increased Lactococcus (p-value <
    0.01). Chapter 4: samples without NEC had greater α-diversity (p-value < 0.001).
    Bifidobacterium was reduced at NEC onset (p-value = 0.003). Probiotics increased
    α-diversity (p-value < 0.001), Bifidobacterium, Yersinia, Lactococcus, Lactobacillus
    (all p-value < 0.001), Escherichia / Shigella (p-value = 0.021), Enterococcus (p-value
    = 0.004) with reduced Staphylococcus (p-value < 0.001). Probiotics were linked to
    metabolic pathways for energy acquisition and immunoregulatory response.
    Chapter 5: preterm infants that developed NEC had increased butyric acid in breast
    milk (p-value = 0.001).
    Date of Award15 Oct 2022
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Teesside University
    SupervisorCaroline Orr (Supervisor), Gillian Taylor (Supervisor), Andrew Nelson (Supervisor) & Gregory Young (Supervisor)

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