Annals of Clinical Microbiology, The official Journal of the Korean Society of Clinical Microbiology


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Indexed in KCI, KoreaMed, Synapse, DOAJ
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pISSN 2288-0585 eISSN 2288-6850

Intestinal Microflora and Atopy Development in Infants during the First Nine Months

Original article

Annals of Clinical Microbiology (Ann Clin Microbiol) 2014 September, Volume 17, Issue 3, pages 73-79.

Intestinal Microflora and Atopy Development in Infants during the First Nine Months

Jae-Seok Kim1, Tae-Jung Sung2, Hong Kyu Park2, Ji Young Park1, Hyoun Chan Cho1, Il Tae Hwang2, Hae-Ran Lee2
Departments of 1Laboratory Medicine, 2Pediatrics, Hallym University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea


Background: The intestinal microflora varies according to the factors such as age, diet and environment. It is debated whether the changes of microbiota after birth are associated with atopic disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate colonization rates of some intestinal microflora during the initial 9 months after birth, and their association with the development of atopy.

Methods: Stool specimens were collected at 1, 3, 7 days and at 1, 2, 4, 6, 9 months after birth, and Escherichia coli, Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, Staphylococcus aureus were cultured with selective media. Diagnosis for atopy was accomplished via clinical history of atopy, serum total IgE, and skin prick test.

Results: By 12 months of age, among 48 infants, 36 (75.0%) were non-atopic while 12 (25.0%) had developed atopy. Although not statistically significant, the intestinal microflora of infants with atopy vs. non-atopy was characterized by being less often colonized with E. coli (12.5% vs. 52.4%; P=0.093) and S. aureus (0% vs. 38.1%; P=0.066) at three days after birth. Colonization rates of E. coli reached 50% after 3 days of birth in non-atopy group whereas this rate was not achieved until after 1 month in the atopy group.

Conclusion: The intestinal colonization rates of bacteria in this study were not statistically different between atopy and non-atopy groups. Rapid colonization of E. coli and S. aureus was observed within 1 week after birth in the non-atopy group. The exact association between atopy and the bacterial colonization and/or diversity in the early days after birth has yet to be determined. (Ann Clin Microbiol 2014; 17:73-79)


Atopy, Colonization, Infant, Intestinal flora, Microbiota