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Maternal Overweight Prior to Pregnancy and its Impact on the Infant Gut Microbiome and Subsequent Child Overweight Risk Open Access


Other title
Maternal Overweight
Child Overweight
Gut Microbiome
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Kalu, Rose N
Supervisor and department
Kozyrskyj, Anita (Pediatrics)
Examining committee member and department
Chari, Radha (Obstetrics and Gynecology)
Haqq, Andrea (Pediatrics)
Medical Sciences-Paediatrics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
Background: Maternal overweight and obesity is a widespread problem in Canada that has been linked to many complications during pregnancy. The gut microbiome has been revealed to have origins during infancy, which might be influenced by maternal weight gain during pregnancy. It would be beneficial to study the microbiome as a possible link between maternal and child overweight risk. Objective: To assess the impact of maternal overweight, prior to pregnancy, on the infant gut microbiome and child overweight. Methods: Height and weight measurements of 1021 women, and their children were obtained from the birth chart in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development [CHILD] study. Information on the infant gut microbiome was acquired from fecal samples in diapers, where DNA was isolated with a commercial kit ‘Qiagen QIAamp DNA stool Mini Kit’, and extracted and amplified from the hypervariable V4 region of the 16S rRNA locus using a Miseq2 machine. Results: Maternal prepregnancy overweight doubled the risk of child overweight at one year, independent of mode of delivery, exclusive breast feeding or formula feeding, and infant antibiotic exposure by three months. Exclusive breastfeeding on the other hand, lowered the risk of child overweight by 33%. Maternal pregnancy overweight is associated with a low relative abundance of Bacteroidaceae in the infant gut microbiome,. Conclusions: Maternal pregnancy overweight doubles the risk of child overweight, and appears to lower the risk of the presence of Bacteroidaceae in the infant gut microbiome. These findings offer further evidence of the necessity of establishing preventive measures in clinical practice to halt the harmful sequelae of overweight and obesity in pregnancy.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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