Early life adversity marks the oral microbiome and immunophenotype: a holistic approach
Introduction Microbial colonization begins at birth and develops over the first 36 months, establishing tissue-specific microbiota with unique abundance, diversity and robustness. Birthroute and early-life environment are key modulators of the microbiome. Furthermore, the early exposome influences the development of mental capabilities, immune resistance and overall health trajectories, and is associated with a pro-inflammatory and immunosenescent phenotype later in life. This study aims to investigate the role of the oral microbiome in an early life adversity model.
Methods Saliva and buccal samples from the EpiPath cohort of 115 adults (mean age 24; 40 experienced early life adversity and 75 controls) were used to generate 16S amplification sequencing on Illumina MiSeq. Taxonomic analyses performed using mothur, visualized with R, and integrated with the full phenotypic and immunological profile. Statistical model executed in STATA.
Results Multiple significant taxonomic associations were identified with case-control, lifestyle covariates and immunophenotypic markers. Three genera significantly reduced in the adoptees (FDR<0.05). Four Genera significantly reduced with smoking (FDR<0.05). Five genera associated with immunosenescence of CD4 T-cells (FDR<0.05). Three genera associated with circulating numbers and activation status of natural killer cells (FDR<0.05). Ten genera associated with anti-CMV titers (FDR<0.05).
Conclusions Our data show a clear link between ELA and the oral microbiome 24 years later Also, suggest the presence of multiple mechanistic links between ELA, immunosenescence and cytotoxicity that pass through the microbiome.

E.G.C. is funded by the FNR-PRIDE (PRIDE/11823097/MICROH) scheme. The EpiPath study was funded by the FNR-CORE (C12/BM/3985792).

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