Gut Bacteria and Brain of the Baby: to link up the dynamic of gut colonization in preterms born at gestational age of 30-326/7 weeks and their psychomotor development at 2 years


Composition of the gut microbiota can influence brain development and maternal nutrition can influence both offspring microbiota and brain neurogenesis and later cognitive and behavior (eating, social, locomotor, exploratory) abilities. We hypothesize that gut microbiota of preterm babies is a determinant of their developmental trajectories.

The primary aim of our project is to establish the relationship between the dynamic of gut colonization in preterms born at GA30-326/7 and psychomotor outcomes at 2 using the ‘Ages and Stages Questionnaire’ ASQ survey. Secondary objectives are to identify the predominant environmental factors (including maternal nutrition and social level, mode of delivery, birth weight, mode of infant feeding, antibiotic treatments) that influence the microbiota establishment, and to dynamically cluster gut colonization in preterms according to these factors.

Preterms (n=100) born at GA30-326/7 will be enrolled for a longitudinal follow-up up to 2 Fecal samples of mothers and babies will be collected the day of birth, weekly up to the infant hospital leaving and at 1 and 2; a sample of milk provided to babies will be collected for composition at 7 days of life. Finally, food questionnaires will be completed by mothers the week following birth and at 1 while the psychomotor questionnaire will be completed by parents at 2 Deciphering the key microbial groups could help providing pregnant women with nutritional recommendations to guarantee an optimal perinatal development of neonates.

Project Updates

Finalization of dossier and submission to ethics committee end of April 2023.

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