Mode of delivery modulates the intestinal microbiota and impacts the response to vaccination

Emma M. de Koff, Debbie van Baarle, Marlies A. van Houten, Marta Reyman, Guy A.M. Berbers, Femke van den Ham, Mei Ling J.N. Chu, Elisabeth A.M. Sanders, Debby Bogaert*, Susana Fuentes

*Corresponding author for this work

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The gut microbiota in early life, when critical immune maturation takes place, may influence the immunogenicity of childhood vaccinations. Here we assess the association between mode of delivery, gut microbiota development in the first year of life, and mucosal antigen-specific antibody responses against pneumococcal vaccination in 101 infants at age 12 months and against meningococcal vaccination in 66 infants at age 18 months. Birth by vaginal delivery is associated with higher antibody responses against both vaccines. Relative abundances of vaginal birth-associated Bifidobacterium and Escherichia coli in the first weeks of life are positively associated with anti-pneumococcal antibody responses, and relative abundance of E. coli in the same period is also positively associated with anti-meningococcal antibody responses. In this study, we show that mode of delivery-induced microbiota profiles of the gut are associated with subsequent antibody responses to routine childhood vaccines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6638
Number of pages12
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15-Nov-2022

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