Background & Aims: The effect of pregnancy on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) remains poorly understood. We aimed to monitor intestinal inflammation using fecal calprotectin (FC) in pregnant women and their babies during early life. Methods: Pregnant women with or without IBD and their infants were prospectively enrolled. FC levels were measured at each trimester of pregnancy and in babies throughout the first 3 years of life. Repeated-measures analysis was applied to investigate changes in FC levels while adjusting for confounders. The FC levels were correlated with the bacterial abundance in both mothers and babies. Results: Six hundred and fourteen fecal samples from 358 mothers (98 with IBD) and 1005 fecal samples from 289 infants (76 born to IBD mothers) were analyzed. Pregnant Patients with IBD maintained higher FC levels through pregnancy compared with controls (P = 7.5 × 10–54). FC gradually increased in controls and declined in Patients with IBD throughout pregnancy (P for interaction = 5.8 × 10–7). Babies born to mothers with IBD presented with significantly higher FC levels than those born to controls up to 3 years of age, after adjusting for sex, delivery mode, feeding behavior, and antibiotics exposure (2 weeks to 3 months of age, P = .015; 12–36 months of age, P = .00003). Subdoligranulum, Roseburia, Fusicatenibacter, and Alistipes negatively correlated, and Streptococcus, Prevotella, Escherichia-Shigella, and Bifidobacterium positively correlated with maternal FC levels at T3. Faecalibacterium, Bifidobacterium, and Alistipes showed negative correlations, and Streptococcus were positively correlated with FC levels within 3 months of birth. Conclusions: Pregnancy is associated with decreased inflammatory activity in mothers with IBD. Higher FC levels in babies born to mothers with IBD suggest subclinical inflammation in early life, the long-term consequences of which are uncertain.
- Fecal Calprotectin
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease