Cross-generational bacterial strain transfer to an infant after fecal microbiota transplantation to a pregnant patient: a case report
Understanding bacterial strain transfer between individuals demands a truly deep understanding of the microbiome. In a recent paper, published in BMC Microbiome, we used our clonal-level metagenomics technology to investigate cross-generational bacterial strain transfer to an infant after fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to a pregnant patient with Clostridioides difficile infection (CDI).
In this case report, the gut microbiome of the patient pre-FMT differed significantly from the donor and was characterized with low alpha diversity and enriched for several potential pathogens. This changed dramatically after FMT with the patient having 90.8% of species in common with the donor after one week.
However, due to subspecies heterogeneity in the human gut microbiome, transfer of microbes needs to be investigated at strain level. The analysis revealed specific strains that were transferred from the donor to the patient and then further to the infant, demonstrating cross-generational microbial transfer. Thus, this data also suggests FMT treatment of pregnant women as a potential strategy to introduce beneficial strains and even bacterial consortia to infants.
Big congratulations to all the authors from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and Aarhus Universitetshospital, to our colleagues Pernille Neve Myers and H. Bjørn Nielsen, and former colleague Marie Louise Jespersen for this important publication.