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Temporal Dysbiosis of Infant Nasal Microbiota Relative to Respiratory Syncytial Virus Infection

By Alex Grier, Ann L Gill, Haeja A Kessler, Anthony Corbett, Sanjukta Bandyopadhyay, James Java, Jeanne Holden-Wiltse, Ann R Falsey, David J Topham, Thomas J. Mariani, Mary T Caserta, Edward E. Walsh, Steven R Gill

Posted 30 Apr 2020
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2020.04.30.071258

Rationale: Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV) infection is a leading cause of infant respiratory disease and hospitalization. Infant airway microbiota occupying the nasopharynx have been associated with respiratory disease risk and severity. The extent to which interactions between RSV and microbiota occur in the airway, and their impact on respiratory disease severity and infection susceptibility, are not well understood. Objectives: To characterize associations between the nasal microbiota and RSV infection before, during, and after infants first respiratory illness. Methods: Nasal 16S rRNA microbial community profiling of two cohorts of infants in the first year of life: 1) a cross-sectional cohort of 89 RSV infected infants sampled during illness and 102 population matched healthy controls, and 2) an individually matched longitudinal cohort of 12 infants who developed RSV infection and 12 who did not, sampled at time points before, during, and after infection. Measurements and Main Results: We identified 12 taxa significantly associated with RSV infection. All 12 were differentially abundant during infection, with seven differentially abundant prior to infection, and eight differentially abundant after infection. Eight of these taxa were associated with disease severity. Nasal microbiota composition was more discriminative of healthy vs. infected than of disease severity. Conclusions: Our findings elucidate the chronology of nasal microbiota dysbiosis and suggest an altered developmental trajectory associated with first-time RSV infection. Microbial temporal dynamics reveal indicators of disease risk, correlates of illness and severity, and the impact of RSV infection on microbiota composition. Identified taxa represent appealing targets for additional translationally-oriented research. ### Competing Interest Statement The authors have declared no competing interest.

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