Colonization of Cutibacterium avidum during infant gut microbiota establishment

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Vanesa Natalin Rocha Martin
  • Clarissa Schwab
  • Krych, Lukasz
  • Evelyn Voney
  • Annelies Geirnaert
  • Christian Braegger
  • Christophe Lacroix

Establishment of the infant gut microbiota affects gut maturation and influences long-term health. Cutibacterium (formerly Propionibacterium) have been identified as early colonizers, but little is known about their function. Using a cultivation-dependent and -independent approach, we determined Cutibacterium prevalence, diversity and functional potential. In feces from a Swiss infant cohort (n = 38), prevalence of Propionibacterium/Cutibacterium decreased from 84% at 2 weeks, to 65% at 4 weeks, 47% at 8 weeks and 41% at 12 weeks of age. Abundance varied among individuals, and persistence depended on the colonization levels at 2 weeks. Cutibacterium isolates (n = 87) were obtained from 10 infants from a smaller cohort (n = 12); restriction fragment length polymorphism clustered isolates in four groups, and all identified as Cutibacterium avidum. Colonization potential and metabolic effects of C. avidum addition were tested in an in vitro continuous intestinal fermentation model mimicking infant proximal colon conditions. Cutibacterium avidum spiked daily at 108 or 109 cells mL-1 colonized, decreased formate and persisted during the washout period. Significant correlations were observed between Propionibacterium/Cutibacterium and lactate-producers and protein-degraders in both reactors and infant feces. Our findings highlight the natural presence of C. avidum and its role as a lactate-consumer and propionate-producer in infants younger than 3 months.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberfiy215
JournalFEMS Microbiology Ecology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)1-14
Publication statusPublished - 2019

ID: 210006984