Submitted: 02 Nov 2023
Revision: 09 Jan 2024
Accepted: 14 Feb 2024
ePublished: 30 Mar 2024
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Avicenna J Clin Microbiol Infect. 2024;11(1): 1-8.
doi: 10.34172/ajcmi.3509
  Abstract View: 46
  PDF Download: 14

Original Article

Alterations in the Gut Microbiota Composition and Structure of Children Under 5 Years With Sepsis: A Case Report From a Federal Medical Center in Lagos State, Nigeria

Tenny Obiageli Gladys Egwuatu 1* ORCID logo, Uzoma Nonyelum Okeke 1, Sakinat Bello 1, Awosipe Ayobola Oluwaseun 1, Abraham Ajayi 2 ORCID logo, Utibeima Udo Essiet 2 ORCID logo, Agatha David 3 ORCID logo, Nnenna Kalu 4, Afolabi Lesi 5, Stella Ifeanyi Smith 2,6 ORCID logo

1 Department of Microbiology, University of Lagos Akoka, Nigeria
2 Molecular Biology and Biotechnology Department, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
3 Clinical Sciences Department, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, Yaba, Lagos, Nigeria
4 Federal Medical Center Ebute-Metta, Lagos Mainland, Ebute-Metta, Lagos State, Nigeria
5 College of Medicine, University of Lagos Idi-Araba, Lagos Nigeria
6 Department of Biological Sciences, Mountain Top University, Ogun State, Nigeria
*Corresponding Author: Tenny Obiageli Gladys Egwuatu, Email: tegwuatu@unilag.edu.ng


Background: Sepsis is a major cause of death among children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Although studies have suggested that the dysbiosis of the gut microbiota is associated with sepsis, there are limited data on the microbiota profile of children with sepsis in low- and middle-income countries such as Nigeria.

Methods: To address this gap, this study was conducted to examine the gut microbiota of four children (S2, S4, S6, and S8) with sepsis and two apparently healthy controls (C2 and C4). DNA was extracted from stool samples, and 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing and bioinformatics analysis were used to determine the microbial composition of the microbiota.

Results: A significant reduction in the abundance of the phylum Bacteroidetes was observed in sepsis cases, while the family Enterobacteriaceae was dominant, with a relative abundance of 29.7%, 36.9%, 47.4%, and 34.6% in S2, S4, S6, and S8, respectively. Pathogenic bacterial species such as Megasphaera spp., Sutterella spp., and Clostridium difficile were dominant among some of the sepsis samples. The bacterial communities of the microbiota of participants with sepsis largely diverged from those of the controls, with a remarkable decrease in diversity.

Conclusion: This study highlights an alteration in the gut microbiota of children presenting with sepsis. Notably, there was a reduction in beneficial commensals and an increase in potential pathogenic bacterial species. Since sepsis remains a major public health challenge, there is an urgent need to explore the gut microbiota for possible intervention.

Please cite this article as follows: Egwuatu TOG, Okeke UN, Bello S, Oluwaseun AA, Ajayi A, Essiet UU, David A, Kalu N, Lesi A, Smith SI. Alterations in the gut microbiota composition and structure of children under 5 years with sepsis: a case report from a federal medical center in Lagos State, Nigeria. Avicenna J Clin Microbiol Infect. 2024; 11(1):1-8. doi:10.34172/ajcmi.3509
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