Effects of vaginal microbiota transfer on the neurodevelopment and microbiome of cesarean-born infants: A blinded randomized controlled trial

Lepeng Zhou, Wen Qiu, Jie Wang, Aihua Zhao, Chuhui Zhou, Tao Sun, Ziyu Xiong, Peihua Cao, Wei Shen, Jingfen Chen, Xiaolu Lai, Liu Hong Zhao, Yue Wu, Meng Li, Feng Qiu, Yanhong Yu, Zhenjiang Zech Xu, Hongwei Zhou, Wei Jia, Yan LiaoRavi Retnakaran, Daniel Krewski, Shi Wu Wen, Jose C. Clemente*, Tianlu Chen*, Ri Hua Xie*, Yan He*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The microbiomes of cesarean-born infants differ from vaginally delivered infants and are associated with increased disease risks. Vaginal microbiota transfer (VMT) to newborns may reverse C-section-related microbiome disturbances. Here, we evaluated the effect of VMT by exposing newborns to maternal vaginal fluids and assessing neurodevelopment, as well as the fecal microbiota and metabolome. Sixty-eight cesarean-delivered infants were randomly assigned a VMT or saline gauze intervention immediately after delivery in a triple-blind manner (ChiCTR2000031326). Adverse events were not significantly different between the two groups. Infant neurodevelopment, as measured by the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) score at 6 months, was significantly higher with VMT than saline. VMT significantly accelerated gut microbiota maturation and regulated levels of certain fecal metabolites and metabolic functions, including carbohydrate, energy, and amino acid metabolisms, within 42 days after birth. Overall, VMT is likely safe and may partially normalize neurodevelopment and the fecal microbiome in cesarean-delivered infants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1232-1247.e5
Number of pages21
JournalCell Host and Microbe
Volume31
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jul 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Virology

User-Defined Keywords

  • cesarean section
  • gut metabolome
  • gut microbiome
  • infants
  • neurodevelopment
  • randomized controlled trial
  • vaginal microbiota transfer

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