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Characteriaztion of fecal microbiota of children with diarrhea in 2 locations in Colombia

Solano-Aguilar, Gloria, Fernandez, Karem P., Ets, Hillevi, Molokin, Aleksey, Vinyard, Bryan, Urban, Joseph F., Gutierrez, Maria Fernanda
Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology & Nutrition 2013 v.56 no.5 pp. 503
Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, demography, diarrhea, feces composition, health status, highlands, morbidity, mortality, nucleic acids, pathogens, preschool children, protective effect, risk, risk groups, Colombia
Objectives: Diarrhea is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in children younger than 5 years in impoverished regions of the world. Our aim was to compare the fecal microbiota of healthy children with that of children with clinical diarrhea in a population from a tropical highland in Colombia, South America. Our hypothesis was that a reduced prevalence of inherent Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium species would be associated with enteric viral and bacterial pathogens. Methods: Children between 1 and 5 years of age from 2 different locations were evaluated for presence of clinical diarrhea. Nucleic acid, isolated from fecal samples, was used to determine by molecular protocols the abundance of inherent bacterial species and presence of enteric pathogens compared with clinically healthy children. The effect of host demographic factors on incidence of diarrhea was also analyzed. Results: The composition of the fecal microbiota was affected by host demographic factors: age, health status, location, and sex. In partial support of our hypothesis, the relative abundance of commensal Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species was inversely correlated with incidence of diarrhea regardless of location. Conclusions: Our results suggested that changes in fecal microbiota composition of children with clinical diarrhea are associated with certain demographic factors that should be considered before designing a prophylactic intervention. Delivery of certain Lactobacillus species and Bifidobacterium species or a diet rich in bifidogenic components that promote growth of Bifidobacterium species could provide a prophylactic effect to ameliorate the effect of diarrhea in children at risk.