University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center is conducting an observational study in 70 participants in order to understand the relationship between anemia and stool microbiota in premature infants and also to evaluate the relationship between blood transfusion and stool microbiota.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a leading cause of death in preterm infants, yet the disease mechanism is not well understood. Among the factors that have been studied are the change in stool microbiota (dysbiosis), severe anemia, and transfusion. Studies suggest that dysbiosis occurs in neonates with NEC. Large studies and meta-analyses have shown a predominance of Gammaproteobacteria, a decrease in Firmicutes, and decreased bacterial diversity in stool from infants with NEC. Studies do not support a relationship between transfusions and NEC since there are conflicting findings on this topic. There is a suggestion, however, that severe anemia may be associated with NEC though this requires further study.
No studies have been done evaluating the relationship between anemia and change in stool microbiota, or blood transfusion and change in stool microbiota. This study aims to primarily evaluate the relationship between anemia and stool microbiota, and secondarily evaluate the relationship between transfusion and stool microbiota.