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In Pediatrics ; h5-index 114.0

OBJECTIVES : Although the airway microbiota is a highly dynamic ecology, the role of longitudinal changes in airway microbiota during early childhood in asthma development is unclear. We aimed to investigate the association of longitudinal changes in early nasal microbiota with the risk of developing asthma.

METHODS : In this prospective, population-based birth cohort study, we followed children from birth to age 7 years. The nasal microbiota was tested by using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing at ages 2, 13, and 24 months. We applied an unsupervised machine learning approach to identify longitudinal nasal microbiota profiles during age 2 to 13 months (the primary exposure) and during age 2 to 24 months (the secondary exposure) and examined the association of these profiles with the risk of physician-diagnosed asthma at age 7 years.

RESULTS : Of the analytic cohort of 704 children, 57 (8%) later developed asthma. We identified 4 distinct longitudinal nasal microbiota profiles during age 2 to 13 months. In the multivariable analysis, compared with the persistent Moraxella dominance profile during age 2 to 13 months, the persistent Moraxella sparsity profile was associated with a significantly higher risk of asthma (adjusted odds ratio, 2.74; 95% confidence interval, 1.20-6.27). Similar associations were observed between the longitudinal changes in nasal microbiota during age 2 to 24 months and risk of asthma.

CONCLUSIONS : Children with an altered longitudinal pattern in the nasal microbiota during early childhood had a high risk of developing asthma. Our data guide the development of primary prevention strategies (eg, early identification of children at high risk and modification of microbiota) for childhood asthma. These observations present a new avenue for risk modification for asthma (eg, microbiota modification).

Toivonen Laura, Karppinen Sinikka, Schuez-Havupalo Linnea, Waris Matti, He Qiushui, Hoffman Kristi L, Petrosino Joseph F, Dumas Orianne, Camargo Carlos A, Hasegawa Kohei, Peltola Ville