University of Oulu

Ainonen, S., Tejesvi, M.V., Mahmud, M.R. et al. Antibiotics at birth and later antibiotic courses: effects on gut microbiota. Pediatr Res 91, 154–162 (2022).

Antibiotics at birth and later antibiotic courses : effects on gut microbiota

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Author: Ainonen, Sofia1; Tejesvi, Mysore V.2; Mahmud, Md. Rayhan2;
Organizations: 1PEDEGO Research Unit and Medical Research Centre Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Ecology and Genetics, Faculty of Science, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Department of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
4J. Craig Venter Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
5J. Craig Venter Institute, Rockville, MD, USA
6Department of Paediatrics, University of Eastern Finland and Kuopio University Hospital, Kuopio, Finland
7Biocenter Oulu, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2022
Publish Date: 2022-03-09


Background: Intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) is widely used, but the evidence of the long-term effects on the gut microbiota and subsequent health of children is limited. Here, we compared the impacts of perinatal antibiotic exposure and later courses of antibiotic courses on gut microbiota.

Methods: This was a prospective, controlled cohort study among 100 vaginally delivered infants with different perinatal antibiotic exposures: control (27), IAP (27), postnatal antibiotics (24), and IAP and postnatal antibiotics (22). At 1 year of age, we performed next-generation sequencing of the bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA gene of fecal samples.

Results: Exposure to the perinatal antibiotics had a clear impact on the gut microbiota. The abundance of the Bacteroidetes phylum was significantly higher in the control group, whereas the relative abundance of Escherichia coli was significantly lower in the control group. The impact of the perinatal antibiotics on the gut microbiota composition was greater than exposure to later courses of antibiotics (28% of participants).

Conclusions: Perinatal antibiotic exposure had a marked impact on the gut microbiota at the age of 1 year. The timing of the antibiotic exposure appears to be the critical factor for the changes observed in the gut microbiota.

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Series: Pediatric research
ISSN: 0031-3998
ISSN-E: 1530-0447
ISSN-L: 0031-3998
Volume: 91
Pages: 154 - 162
DOI: 10.1038/s41390-021-01494-7
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3123 Gynaecology and paediatrics
Funding: This work was financially supported by the Academy of Finland, Finnish Pediatric Research Foundation and Oulu University Hospital, Finland. Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital.
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit