Am J Perinatol
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1776344
Review Article

A Scoping Review of the Oral Microbiome in Preterm Infants

1   Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science, College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
,
Marion M. Bendixen
2   Department of Family, Community and Health System Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
,
Angela Monk
1   Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science, College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
,
Monica F.T. Lamberti
3   Department of Microbiology and Cell Science University of Florida, Microbiology and Cell Science, Gainesville, Florida
,
Graciela L. Lorca
3   Department of Microbiology and Cell Science University of Florida, Microbiology and Cell Science, Gainesville, Florida
,
Josef Neu
4   Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
,
Leslie A. Parker
1   Department of Biobehavioral Nursing Science, College of Nursing, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
› Author Affiliations

Abstract

The purpose of this scoping review was to examine the oral microbiome composition in preterm infants, sampling and collection methods, as well as exposures associated with oral microbiome composition and health implications. We conducted a scoping review of the literature using the Arskey and O'Malley framework. We identified a total of 13 articles which met our inclusion criteria and purpose of this scoping review. Articles included in this review compared the oral microbiome in preterm infants to term infants, examined alterations to the oral microbiome over time, compared the oral microbiome to different body site microbiomes, and explored associations with clinically relevant covariates and outcomes. Exposures associated with the diversity and composition of the oral microbiome in preterm infants included delivery mode, oral feeding, oropharyngeal care, skin-to-skin care, and antibiotics. Day of life and birth weight were also associated with oral microbiome composition. The oral microbiome may be associated with the composition of the tracheal and gut microbiomes, likely due to their proximity. Alpha and beta diversity findings varied across studies as well as the relative abundance of taxa. This is likely due to the different sampling techniques and timing of collection, as well as the wide range of infant clinical characteristics. Multiple factors may influence the composition of the oral microbiome in preterm infants. However, given the heterogeneity of sampling techniques and results within this review, the evidence is not conclusive on the development as well as short- and long-term implications of the oral microbiome in preterm infants and needs to be explored in future research studies.

Key Points

  • Day of life is a critical factor in oral microbiome development in preterm infants.

  • The oral microbiome may be associated with tracheal and gut microbiome colonization.

  • Future research should examine sampling methodology for examining the oral microbiome.

  • Future research should explore associations with the oral microbiome and adverse health outcomes.

Supplementary Material



Publication History

Received: 01 June 2023

Accepted: 28 September 2023

Article published online:
31 October 2023

© 2023. Thieme. All rights reserved.

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