About the Norwegian Microbiota Study (NoMIC)
The purpose of NoMIC is to learn more about gut microbiota during infancy, how it is composed, factors that affect it (in particular Caesarean section and antibiotics), how it develops through childhood and whether there is any connection between gut microbiota composition and maternal and child health.
The health outcomes focus on allergies, weight gain and obesity, the immune system, general neuropsychological development and behavioural disorders.
We need more knowledge about the relationship between gut microbiota and health. This will hopefully provide the basis for potential new treatment and prevention of diseases in the future.
Who is participating?
Recruitment began in 2002. In the period from 2002 to 2008, faecal samples were collected from 601 babies born at a county hospital in southern Norway. Participating mothers and infants were recruited by medical doctors or midwives at the maternity ward just after birth. Faecal samples were collected at 4 and 10 days, 1 and 4 months and 1 and 2 years. Mothers also provided a breast milk sample one month after delivery. They also completed questionnaires when the child was 6 months, 1 year and 2 years old.
Collaborating institutes include Karolinska Institute in Sweden, the Knight Lab in Colorado, USA, and Imperial College, UK.
Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Tore Midtvedt and Elisabeth Norin are studying gut microbiotal products (MACs) found in fæces. These include short-chain free fatty acids, and bile acid and cholesterol metabolites. These microbial products may be the link between the composition of gut microbiota and effects on health.
The Knight Lab, Colorado, USA
The Knight Lab, with Rob Knight, are analysing the microbial composition of gut microbiota samples in NoMIC and helping us processing the results.
Imperial College, England
Elaine Holmes' group is analysing small cellular metabolites to give a total composition profile of each sample. The peaks of samples from two groups (sick/healthy) can be compared to see where they differ, indicating biomarkers which can be traced as potential causes of disease.
Follow-up study: GoodStart
In 2015, we began to follow up children aged between seven and twelve. Consent has been obtained for 494 children to continue in the study. This will involve interviews with the children, tests in the form of games, waist, height and weight measurements, biological samples and questionnaires to be completed by their mothers.