Research ArticleENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Biodiversity intervention enhances immune regulation and health-associated commensal microbiota among daycare children

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Science Advances  14 Oct 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 42, eaba2578
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba2578
  • Fig. 1 Diversity and richness of bacteria in daycare yard soils and on the skin of daycare children.

    After the trial, (A) Gammaproteobacterial and (B) total bacterial ground surface soil community was more diverse at intervention daycare yard soils compared to standard daycare yards. On the skin, the alpha diversity (Shannon index) of (C) Proteobacteria was higher among children in intervention (n = 29) and nature-oriented daycares (n = 19) compared to children in standard daycares (n = 13) after the study period. (D) Alphaproteobacterial diversity on the skin of the intervention daycare children increased during the intervention, and it was higher compared to children in standard daycares after the study period. (E) Betaproteobacterial diversity was higher among nature-oriented and (F) Gammaproteobacterial diversity higher among intervention daycare children compared to children in standard daycares after the study period. Data are displayed as means ± SE. *P < 0.05 and **P < 0.01, t tests after the intervention (A and B), Dunn’s multiple comparison post hoc tests after the intervention (C to E), and Wilcoxon signed-rank test (D).

  • Fig. 2 Associations between bacterial diversity and immune markers.

    The increase in skin Gammaproteobacterial diversity was associated (A) with an increase in TGF-β1 concentration in plasma (all children in an LMM) and among intervention children (B) with a decrease in IL-17A concentration (C) and increase in Treg cell frequencies. In (C), the nonsignificant model for standard children is provided for comparison. (D) Among nature-oriented children, F. prausnitzii (Otu000007) was associated with a decrease and unknown Faecalibacterium Otu000008 with an increase in IL-17A concentration (results from end of trial).

  • Table 1 Number, age, gender, and reasons for exclusion of study participants in each daycare group and in total.

    Each child spent daily (Monday to Friday) approximately 1.5 hours outdoors.

    Intervention*
    4 centers
    Standard
    3 centers
    Nature
    3 centers
    Total children
    10 centers
    Total children36162375
      Boys1891037
      Girls1871338
    Age§4.3 ± 0.64.9 ± 0.34.7 ± 0.54.6 ± 0.6
    Excluded
      Antibiotic users2103
      Probiotic users1012
      Medication users3238

    *Children in intervention daycare centers.

    †Children in standard, nonmodified daycare centers.

    ‡Children in nature-oriented daycare centers where children visited boreal forests on a daily basis.

    §Age is presented as means±SD.

    ║Children using probiotics, antibiotics, or medication (paracetamol, desloratadine, pyrvin, cetirizine, and salbutamol) were excluded from the gut microbiome and cytokine analyses. One child with pinworm infection was excluded from all analyses.

    • Table 2 IL-10:IL-17A ratio before and after (mean ± SD) the 28-day intervention period in plasma of children in the intervention, standard, and nature daycares.

      Daycare centerMean beforeSDMean afterSDdf*PAdjusted P,
      Wilcoxon paired
      test
      Intervention0.860.501.150.10210.020.04
      Standard0.930.471.040.4490.811
      Nature1.220.920.960.5590.290.86

      *Degree of freedom. Only donors with both before and after samples were included.

      †Benjamini-Hochberg correction.

      ‡Significant differences are indicated in boldface.

      Supplementary Materials

      • Supplementary Materials

        Biodiversity intervention enhances immune regulation and health-associated commensal microbiota among daycare children

        Marja I. Roslund, Riikka Puhakka, Mira Grönroos, Noora Nurminen, Sami Oikarinen, Ahmad M. Gazali, Ondřej Cinek, Lenka Kramná, Nathan Siter, Heli K. Vari, Laura Soininen, Anirudra Parajuli, Juho Rajaniemi, Tuure Kinnunen, Olli H. Laitinen, Heikki Hyöty, Aki Sinkkonen, ADELE research group

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