Early life microbiota is a risk factor for future diseases. The main purpose of this study was to investigate the transfer of gut microbiota from mother to newborn. A biological sample was collected from the anal mucosa of the pregnant women before delivery and from the newborns between 24 and 48 h after delivery, as it was not possible to collect a meconium sample at that time. The microbiome of the samples was analyzed by sequencing the hypervariable regions V3-V4 of the 16S gene. To determine the likelihood of microbiota transfer from mother to newborn and examine the relationship with the mode of delivery, we utilized Fisher’s exact test and odds ratio. A weighted transfer ratio was employed as a comprehensive measure of transfer. A total of 5767 ASVs were identified in newborn samples (n = 30) and 7253 in maternal samples (n = 30). In the analysis of transfer correlated with the mode of delivery, we observed significant ASVs (p < 0.05). Vaginal delivery showed a positive probability of transfer (OR = 2.184 and WTR = 1.852). We found a negative correlation (OR < 1) between the abundance of maternal ASVs and the likelihood of microbiota transfer to the newborn in both delivery modes. The relationship was inversely proportional for both cesarean section (log10 = − 0.2229) and vaginal delivery (log10 = − 0.1083), with statistical significance observed only for cesarean section (p = 0.0083).
Conclusion: In our sample, the maternal gut microbiome was found to be associated with the infant gut microbiome, indicating evidence of ASV-specific transfer from the maternal microbiome to newborns.
What is Known:
• There is a relationship of early-life microbiota composition with future health outcomes.
What is New:
• This was the first study to evaluate maternal gut microbiota transfer to newborns in Brazil.