Mode of delivery and maternal body mass index are weakly associated with the infant gut microbiota composition
Obesity has grown to epidemic proportions in many countries across the globe. The health risks associated with it has necessitated research studying potential determinants of childhood and adult obesity. Many factors such as mode of delivery and maternal body mass index have been identified to influence the infant gut microbiota and weight status. In this study, we sought to both validate the effects of these factors on infant gut microbiome composition and investigate how they affect early life development using an unpublished dataset collected from 325 infant-mother dyads. The dataset was generated by Dr. Kyung Rhee from UCSD and documented medical histories and early life infant growth and behaviour. Our results showed that infant delivery method and maternal BMI were associated with small taxonomic changes but not significant overall gut microbiome changes. Infant delivery method and maternal BMI also did not show statistically significant effects on infant early life weight gain trajectory. These findings suggest the mode of delivery and maternal BMI may have small-scale impacts on gut microbiome composition and weight gain for the cohort we studied.