Research Projects Using Growing Up Data

Throat microbiome diversity and bacterial colonisation in preschool children - pilot project

Publication Date:
Lead Organisation:
University of Auckland
Lead Researcher:
Caroline Walker, Emma Marks, Ashley Smith, Susan Morton
Access Type:
Primary Classification:
Health and Wellbeing
Secondary Classification:

The interactions among micro-organisms and their hosts are complex and influential on health and wellbeing. It is now widely accepted that microbial diversity and colonisation with commensal bacteria throughout life are important and necessary to maintain good health and that disruption of the microbiome by antibiotic use can have negative consequences for the host.

GUiNZ provides a unique opportunity to investigate how microbial composition and diversity alongside bacterial colonisation may vary across a diverse cohort of NZ children. The aim of this project is to provide evidence for the efficacy and utility of extraction of microbiome data from the throat swabs of preschool children and to determine the inter and intra individual diversity of microbes alongside colonisation of both Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) and Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep). This data will be used in conjunction with GUiNZ variables for recent antibiotic use and child health (throat infections). Specific areas of new knowledge generated by this project will include:

• Understanding the core throat microbiome in children at preschool age

• Understanding how the microbiome is associated with recent antibiotic use/health

• Understanding how bacterial colonisation (Staph and Strep) impacts the microbiome

We have the potential to use this data to demonstrate its utility/feasibility and then expand the research (with additional funding) to include a larger more diverse sample size of the GUiNZ cohort in order to better understand the links between microbiome and bacterial colonisation of the throat in NZ children.