Feature ArticlesExploring the Maternal and Infant Oral Microbiomes A Pilot StudyYang, Irene PhD, RN; Hu, Yi-Juan PhD; Corwin, Elizabeth J. PhD, RN; Dunlop, Anne L. MD, MPHAuthor Information Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing (Drs Yang and Dunlop), and Department of Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Rollins School of Public Health (Dr Hu), Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia; and School of Nursing, Columbia University, New York City, New York (Dr Corwin). Corresponding Author: Irene Yang, PhD, RN, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, 1520 Clifton Rd NE, Room 424, Atlanta, GA 30322 (Irene.email@example.com). Supported by funds received from the Novice Researcher Award from the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and the Alpha Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau. During the earliest stages of this project, Dr Yang was supported by T32 5T32NR012715. Participants for this study were leveraged from Drs Corwin and Dunlop's ongoing R01NR014800 and could not have been successfully recruited without the help of project coordinators: Kristi Logue and Castalia Thorne. Disclosure: The authors have disclosed that they have no significant relationships with, or financial interest in, any commercial companies pertaining to this article. Each author has indicated that he or she has met the journal's requirements for Authorship. Submitted for publication: February 1, 2020; accepted for publication: April 3, 2020. The Journal of Perinatal & Neonatal Nursing: July/September 2020 - Volume 34 - Issue 3 - p 211-221 doi: 10.1097/JPN.0000000000000494 Buy Take the CE Test Metrics Abstract Setting the stage for good oral health early in life is critical to long-term oral and overall health. This exploratory study aimed to characterize and compare maternal and newborn oral microbiota among mother-infant pairs. Oral samples were collected from 34 pregnant African American women and their infants at 1 to 3 months of age. Extracted 16SrRNA genes were matched to the Human Oral Microbiome Database. Alpha and beta diversity differed significantly between overall maternal and infant microbiomes. Maternal or infant alpha diversity, however, was not differentiated by maternal gingival status. Several demographic and behavioral variables were associated with, but not predictive of, maternal oral microbiome alpha diversity. There was no association, however, among birth mode, feeding mode, and the infant oral microbiome. Megasphaera micronuciformis was the only periodontal pathogen detected among the infants. Notably, maternal gingival status was not associated with the presence/absence of most periodontal pathogens. This study provides an initial description of the maternal and infant oral microbiomes, laying the groundwork for future studies. The perinatal period presents an important opportunity where perinatal nurses and providers can provide oral assessment, education, and referral to quality dental care. © 2020 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.