The Role of Bifidobacterium Colonization and Microbial Diversity in the Gastrointestinal Microbiome on the Development of Allergic Proctocolitis in Early Infancy
Microbial dysbiosis is proposed to impair immune system maturation and thus contribute to the development of allergic disease in early infancy (Azad et al., 2015; Cseh et al., 2010). However the role of the microbiome in allergic proctocolitis remains unknown. Bifidobacterium is proposed to play a protective role in the development of allergic disease by promoting the development of Th1 and T regulatory cells (Cseh et al., 2010). This study seeks to evaluate the diversity, microbial distribution, and relative abundance of Bifidobacterium in the gastrointestinal tract of control versus allergic proctocolitis infants in the first two weeks of life. At the baseline visit, controls had a greater relative abundance of Bacteroidetes, a trend towards higher microbial diversity, and no statistically significant differences in Bifidobacterium compared to allergic proctocolitis cases. No differences were noted between allergic proctocolitis cases and controls in any measure tested at the two-week visit. Additionally, interesting patterns emerged in individual infants suggesting an increase in Bifidobacterium in controls and a decrease in allergic proctocolitis cases from the baseline to two-week visit. Overall, these findings confirm that microbial alterations may contribute to the development of allergic proctocolitis and highlight the need for additional future research.