Robust variation in infant gut microbiome assembly across a spectrum of lifestyles

Matthew R. Olm, Dylan Dahan, Matthew M. Carter, Bryan D. Merrill, Feiqiao B. Yu, Sunit Jain, Xiandong Meng, Surya Tripathi, Hannah Wastyk, Norma Neff, Susan Holmes, Erica D. Sonnenburg, Aashish R. Jha, Justin L. Sonnenburg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Infant microbiome assembly has been intensely studied in infants from industrialized nations, but little is known about this process in nonindustrialized populations. We deeply sequenced infant stool samples from the Hadza hunter-gatherers of Tanzania and analyzed them in a global meta-analysis. Infant microbiomes develop along lifestyle-associated trajectories, with more than 20% of genomes detected in the Hadza infant gut representing novel species. Industrialized infants—even those who are breastfed—have microbiomes characterized by a paucity of Bifidobacterium infantis and gene cassettes involved in human milk utilization. Strains within lifestyle-associated taxonomic groups are shared between mother-infant dyads, consistent with early life inheritance of lifestyle-shaped microbiomes. The population-specific differences in infant microbiome composition and function underscore the importance of studying microbiomes from people outside of wealthy, industrialized nations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1220-1223
Number of pages4
Issue number6598
StatePublished - Jun 10 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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