Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DIET AND IMMUNE FUNCTION RELATED TO INFECTIOUS AND ALLERGIC DISEASE Title: Characterization of Fecal Microbiota of Children With Diarrhea in 2 Locations in Colombia

Authors
item Solano-Aguilar, Gloria
item Fernandez Duarte, Karem -
item Ets, Hillevi
item Molokin, Aleksey
item Vinyard, Bryan
item Urban, Joseph
item Guitierrez, Maria Fernanda -

Submitted to: Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 11, 2012
Publication Date: May 1, 2013
Citation: Solano Aguilar, G., Fernandez Duarte, K., Ets, H.K., Molokin, A., Vinyard, B.T., Urban Jr, J.F., Guitierrez, M. 2013. Characterization of Fecal Microbiota of Children With Diarrhea in 2 Locations in Colombia. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 56:503-511.

Interpretive Summary: Manipulation of intestinal bacterial flora through giving probiotics as part of the diet has been proposed as a strategy to prevent diarrheal disease in vulnerable children less than five years of age, yet little is known about the composition of the microflora in children with diarrhea. Thus, it is important to understand the composition of intestinal microflora in healthy children and those with intestinal illness to best design studies that include administration of a probiotic strain with the optimal effective dose that can induce a measurable health benefit to the host. Recent special techniques have shown that humans carry in their intestines a core group of bacteria that are generally stable over time and have specific interactions with the host human and other bacteria in the intestine. Specific attention has been given to species of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium that are generally among the first to appear in the human intestinal tract after birth and which can exert healthy outcomes. We compared the microflora of children under the age of five that were healthy or had symptoms of diarrhea in an urban and rural location in Colombia, South America, to determine if an imbalance in bacterial population associated with disease could be observed. The results demonstrated that those children with diarrhea associated with a rotavirus had a lower relative abundance of commensal Bifidobacterium species. This suggests that diets that include Bifidobacterium or have components that promote the growth of these bacteria could promote health in children at risk for rotavirus-related diarrhea. The information will be of interest to public health officials and nutritionists that study the role of diet on intestinal health.

Technical Abstract: Diarrheal disease is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children in impoverished regions of the world. Prebiotic or probiotic dietary intervention has been proposed as a strategy to prevent diarrheal disease in vulnerable children less than five yrs of age, yet little is known about the composition of the microflora in children with diarrhea. Therefore, the intestinal microflora of healthy children was compared to children with clinical diarrhea in two different locations (rural and urban) in the highlands in Colombia, South America, for the prevalence of lactic acid bacteria (Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species) and associated interactions with enteric viral and bacterial pathogens. Our results indicated that the composition of the intestinal microbiota was affected by host demographic factors including age, health status, location, and gender. Relative abundance of commensal Bifidobacterium spp. was reduced in children with clinical diarrhea from the rural location while certain Lactobacillus species were increased in all children with clinical diarrhea regardless of location. Total bacterial abundance in fecal samples from children in the rural location was directly associated with prevalence of rotavirus, but not norovirus. The results suggest that delivery of Bifidobacterium species, which have historically been shown to have a good safety record when administered to children, or a diet rich in bifidogenic components that promote growth of Bifidobacterium species, should be tested for the prevention of diarrhea related to rotavirus infection in at-risk children.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014