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We investigated cross-sectional associations between children’s neurodevelopment and their gut microbiota composition. Study children (36 months of age) lived in rural China (n = 46). Neurodevelopment was assessed using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development, 2nd Edition, yielding the Mental Developmental Index (MDI) and Psychomotor Developmental Index (PDI). Children's gut microbiota was assessed using 16S rRNA gene profiling. Microbial diversity was characterized using alpha diversity patterns. Additionally, 3 coabundance factors were determined for the 25 most abundant taxa. Multivariable linear regression models were constructed to examine the relationships between Bayley scores (MDI and PDI) and children's gut microbiota. In adjusted models, MDI and PDI scores were not associated with alpha diversity indices. However, in adjusted models, MDI and PDI scores were positively associated with the first coabundance factor, which captured positive loadings for the genera Faecalibacterium, Sutterella, and Clostridium cluster XIVa. For an interquartile range increase in the first coabundance factor, MDI scores increased by 3.9 points [95% confidence interval (CI): 0, 7.7], while PDI scores increased by 8.6 points (95% CI 3.1, 14). Our results highlight the potential for gut microbial compositional characteristics to be important correlates of children's Bayley Scales performance at 36 months of age.

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APA Citation

Rothenberg, S. E., Chen, Q., Shen, J., Nong, Y., Nong, H., Trinh, E. P., Biasini, F. J., Liu, J., Zeng, X., Zou, Y., Ouyang, F., & Korrick, S. A. (2021). Neurodevelopment correlates with gut microbiota in a cross-sectional analysis of children at 3 years of age in rural China. Scientific Reports, 11.