Eczema in infants linked to composition of gut bacteria
7 February 2013
Infants with eczema have a more diverse set of bacteria in
their guts and the types of
bacteria present are also more typical of adult gut microbes than
for those without eczema, finds a study in BioMed Central’s open
access journal BMC Microbiology .
Eczema is a chronic
inflammation of the epidermis. The gut bacteria of children with or
without eczema were genetically analysed when they were six and 18 months old
using the Human Intestinal Tract chip (HITChip) made by Agilent.
months all the infants had the same types of bacteria but by 18
months old the children with eczema had more of a type of bacteria
normally associated with adults (Clostridium clusters IV and XIVa)
while the healthy children had a greater amount of Bacteroidetes.
MSc Lotta Nylund from University of Turku, Finland, who led
the project explained, “The composition of bacteria in a child’s gut
depends on its environment and the food it eats. You would expect
that as a child’s diet changes so will the bacteria present. The
number of bifidobacteria naturally falls with age and in total we
found 21 groups of bacteria which changed in this time period.
However it is the early change towards adult-type bacteria which
seems to be a risk factor for eczema.”
1. Nylund L, et al. Microarray analysis reveals marked intestinal microbiota
aberrancy in infants having eczema compared to healthy children in
at-risk for atopic disease. BMC Microbiology, 2013,