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Evaluation of stool microbiota signatures in two cohorts of Asian (Singapore and Indonesia) newborns at risk of atopy

Gaik Chin Yap1, Kok Keong Chee1, Pei-Ying Hong2, Christophe Lay3, Cahya D Satria4, Sumadiono4, Yati Soenarto4, Ekawaty L Haksari4, Marion Aw1, Lynette Pei-Chi Shek1, Kaw Yan Chua1, Yudong Zhao5, Doreen Leow5 and Bee Wah Lee1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics, National University of Singapore, Medical Drive, Singapore, 117597 Singapore

2 Department of Animal Sciences, University of Illinois, West Gregory Drive,Urbana-Champaign, 61801, USA

3 Genome Institute of Singapore, Biopolis Street, Singapore, 138672, Singapore

4 Faculty of Medicine, Gadjah Mada University, Jalan Kesehatan, Yogyakarta, 55284 Indonesia

5 Singapore Clinical Research Institute, Biopolis Way, Singapore, 138669, Singapore

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BMC Microbiology 2011, 11:193  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-11-193

Published: 26 August 2011



Studies have suggested that demographic and lifestyle factors could shape the composition of fecal microbiota in early life. This study evaluated infant stool microbiota signatures in two Asian populations, Singapore (n = 42) and Indonesia (n = 32) with contrasting socioeconomic development, and examined the putative influences of demographic factors on these human fecal associated bacterial signatures.


Longitudinal analysis showed associations of geographical origin with Clostridium leptum, Atopobium and Bifidobacterium groups. Mode of delivery had the largest effect on stool microbiota signatures influencing the abundance of four bacterial groups. Significantly higher abundance of bacterial members belonging to the Bacteroides-Prevotella, Bifidobacterium and Atopobium groups, but lower abundance of Lactobacilli-Enterococci group members, were observed in vaginal delivered compared to caesarean delivered infants. Demographic factors influencing the structure of infants stool microbiota during the first year of life included breastfeeding, age of weaning, sibship size and exposure to antibiotics.


Differences in stool microbiota signatures were observed in relation to various demographic factors. These features may confound studies relating to the association of the structure of fecal microbiota and the predisposition to human modern disease.