Inflammatory and metabolic diseases can originate during early-life and have been correlated with shifts in intestinal microbial ecology. Here we demonstrate that minor environmental fluctuations during the early neonatal period had sustained effects on the developing porcine microbiota and host-microbe interface. These inter-replicate effects appear to originate during the first day of life, and are likely to reflect very early microbiota acquisition from the environment. We statistically link early systemic inflammation with later local increases in inflammatory cytokine (IL-17) production, which could have important enteric health implications. Immunity, intestinal barrier function, host metabolism and host-microbiota co-metabolism were further modified by Bifidobacterium lactis NCC2818 supplementation, although composition of the in situ microbiota remained unchanged. Finally, our robust model identified novel, strong correlations between urinary metabolites (eg malonate, phenylacetylglycine, alanine) and mucosal immunoglobulin (IgM) and cytokine (IL-10, IL-4) production, thus providing the possibility of the development of urinary 'dipstick' tests to assess non-accessible mucosal immune development and identify early precursors (biomarkers) of disease. These results have important implications for infants exposed to neonatal factors including caesarean delivery, antibiotic therapy and delayed discharge from hospital environments, which may predispose to the development of inflammatory and metabolic diseases in later life.
- Bristol Veterinary School - Professor of Comparative Immunology
- Infection and Immunity (Including Veterinary Public Health and Meat Quality)
- Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Mathematics and Ecology
- Cabot Institute for the Environment
- Infection and Immunity
Person: Academic , Member