Changes in Microbiota Profile in the Proximal Remnant Intestine in Infants Undergoing Surgery Requiring Enterostomy

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Early-life gut dysbiosis has been associated with an increased risk of inflammatory, metabolic, and immune diseases later in life. Data on gut microbiota changes in infants undergoing intestinal surgery requiring enterostomy are scarce. This prospective cohort study examined the enterostomy effluent of 29 infants who underwent intestinal surgery due to congenital malformations of the gastrointestinal tract, necrotizing enterocolitis, or spontaneous intestinal perforation. Initial effluent samples were collected immediately after surgery and final effluent samples were collected three weeks later. Gut microbiota composition was analysed using real-time PCR and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Three weeks after surgery, an increase in total bacteria number (+21%, p = 0.026), a decrease in Staphylococcus (−21%, p = 0.002) and Candida spp. (−16%, p = 0.045), and an increase in Lactobacillus (+3%, p = 0.045) and in less abundant genera belonging to the Enterobacteriales family were found. An increase in alpha diversity (Shannon’s and Simpson’s indexes) and significant alterations in beta diversity were observed. A correlation of necrotizing enterocolitis with higher Staphylococcus abundance and higher alpha diversity was also observed. H2-blockers and/or proton pump inhibitor therapy were positively correlated with a higher total bacteria number. In conclusion, these results suggest that positive changes occur in the gut microbiota profile of infants three weeks after intestinal surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2482
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • enterostomy
  • infants
  • microbiota
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • prematurity


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