Reduced genetic potential for butyrate fermentation in the gut microbiome of infants who develop allergic sensitization Journal Articles uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Allergic disease is the most frequent chronic health issue in children and has been linked to early-life gut microbiome dysbiosis. Many lines of evidence suggest that microbially derived short-chain fatty acids, and particularly butyrate, can promote immune tolerance. OBJECTIVE: We sought to determine whether bacterial butyrate production in the gut during early infancy is protective against the development of atopic disease in children. METHODS: We used shotgun metagenomic analysis to determine whether dysbiosis in butyrate fermentation could be identified in human infants, before their developing allergic disease. RESULTS: We found that the microbiome of infants who went on to develop allergic sensitization later in childhood lacked genes encoding key enzymes for carbohydrate breakdown and butyrate production. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings support the importance of microbial carbohydrate metabolism during early infancy in protecting against the development of allergies.


  • Cait, Alissa
  • Cardenas, Erick
  • Dimitriu, Pedro A
  • Amenyogbe, Nelly
  • Dai, Darlene
  • Cait, Jessica
  • Sbihi, Hind
  • Stiemsma, Leah
  • Subbarao, Padmaja
  • Mandhane, Piush J
  • Becker, Allen B
  • Moraes, Theo J
  • Sears, Malcolm
  • Lefebvre, Diana L
  • Azad, Meghan B
  • Kollmann, Tobias
  • Turvey, Stuart E
  • Mohn, William W

publication date

  • December 2019