A rich meconium metabolome in human infants is associated with early-life gut microbiota composition and reduced allergic sensitization
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Microbiota maturation and immune development occur in parallel with, and are implicated in, allergic diseases, and research has begun to demonstrate the importance of prenatal influencers on both. Here, we investigate the meconium metabolome, a critical link between prenatal exposures and both early microbiota and immune development, to identify components of the neonatal gut niche that contribute to allergic sensitization. Our analysis reveals that newborns who develop immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated allergic sensitization (atopy) by 1 year of age have a less-diverse gut metabolome at birth, and specific metabolic clusters are associated with both protection against atopy and the abundance of key taxa driving microbiota maturation. These metabolic signatures, when coupled with early-life microbiota and clinical factors, increase our ability to accurately predict whether or not infants will develop atopy. Thus, the trajectory of both microbiota colonization and immune development are significantly affected by metabolites present in the neonatal gut at birth.
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