OBJECTIVE : To determine the association between the fecal microbiota diversity of the infants with different disease conditions, and vitamin A supplementation, antibiotic, and deworming therapies.
STUDY DESIGN : In this case-control study, the bacterial community variations and the potential pathogens were identified through 16S ribosomal RNA gene-based amplicon sequencing and quantitative insights into microbial ecology pipeline in fecal samples. The participants were South African infants (mean age, 16 ± 8 months; 17 male and 17 female) hospitalized and diagnosed with gastrointestinal, respiratory, and other diseases.
RESULTS : The top phyla of the infants with respiratory disease were Proteobacteria, followed by Firmicutes, which were equally abundant in gastrointestinal disease. A significant difference in Shannon (alpha) diversity index (95% CI, 2.6-4.4; P = .008), among the microbiota of the fecal samples categorized by disease conditions, was observed. In beta diversity analysis of fecal microbiota, remarkable variations were found within the groups of deworming therapy (95% CI, 0.40-0.90; P = .033), disease conditions (95% CI, 0.44-0.86; P < .012) through unweighted and antibiotic therapy (95% CI, 0.20-0.75; P = .007), vitamin A intake (95% CI, 0.10-0.80; P < .033) and disease conditions (95% CI, 0.10-0.79; P = .006) through weighted UniFrac distances. The candidate pathogen associated with the disease groups were identified through analysis of the composition of microbiomes analysis.
CONCLUSIONS : This study provides preliminary evidence for the fecal microbiome-derived dysbiosis signature and pathobiome concept that may be observed in young children during illness.