The gut microbiota has been proposed to affect the risk and prognosis of various health outcomes. Related to pregnancy, existing studies suggest that pregnant women have a distinct microbiota profile compared to non-pregnant women. Further, there are also differences within pregnancy, with distinct profile between women from the first and third trimester. The microbiota profile in the third trimester has been noted to be similar to the second trimester while the first trimester samples are closer to non-pregnant women. However, data is lacking in diverse resource-limited settings that have a unique baseline microbiota profile, as well as whether there are differences in the temporal profile by disease status (e.g. HIV status); whether the gut microbiota profile impacts maternal-infant health outcomes is also not clear. To address these gaps, we conducted a cohort study of pregnant women with and without HIV from India. Preliminary data suggests no differences in α- and β-diversity between women with and without HIV. At the genus level, we observed lower levels of Prevotella and higher levels of Megasphaera in women with HIV compared to women without HIV. Ongoing analysis will i) characterize the temporal dynamics of the gut microbiota during pregnancy, ii) study the relationship of maternal gut microbiome with diet and inflammation, and iii) determine the relationship of maternal gut microbiome with a) infant gut microbiome and b) infant health outcomes (birth outcomes and growth).
1. Understand the temporal dynamics of gut microbiota during pregnancy and infancy.
2. Explain the role of maternal HIV infection on maternal-infant gut microbiota.