Table 2

 Characteristics of the participants in this study

Conventional subcohort,n = 652*Alternative subcohort,n = 305*
*Overall numbers are not always 652 for the conventional subcohort and 305 for the alternative subcohort due to missing bacterial count data or outcome data; †consumed during the last month of pregnancy; ‡forceps or vacuum extraction; §only available for those infants visited at home, total numbers are 391 for conventional subcohort and 192 for alternative subcohort; ¶only available for those infants visited at home, total numbers are 396 for conventional subcohort and 194 for alternative subcohort.
Prevalence of colonisation with intestinal bacteria, %
        Escherichia coli89.586.6
        Clostridium difficile24.725.9
        Bacteroides fragilis group83.078.7
Counts of intestinal bacteria (log10 CFU/g), median (range)
    Bifidobacteria10.71 (6.84–11.56)10.68 (6.85–11.49)
        Escherichia coli9.45 (5.91–10.79)9.12 (5.92–10.62)
        Clostridium difficile5.12 (2.70–8.41)5.70 (2.85–8.81)
        Bacteroides fragilis group9.40 (5.74–10.36)9.07 (5.79–10.33)
    Lactobacilli8.70 (7.92–10.73)8.58 (7.95–10.33)
    Total counts11.15 (9.43–12.14)11.08 (9.58–11.98)
Age at collection of faecal sample (days), mean (SD)31.60 (3.28)31.75 (3.31)
Parental history of atopic manifestations, %
    At least one parent with atopy54.851.8
Sibling history of atopic manifestations, %
    No siblings43.732.8
    ⩾1 siblings, non-atopic40.546.2
    ⩾1 siblings, at least one atopic15.621.0
Sex of infant (boys, percentage)49.453.4
Maternal probiotic use, %†
    Several times a month9.59.8
    Several times a week6.76.2
Place and mode of delivery, %
    Natural delivery at home44.053.8
    Natural delivery in hospital34.829.2
    Artificial delivery in hospital‡7.56.9
    Caesarean section in hospital10.79.5
Type of infant feeding, %
    Exclusively breast-fed58.387.9
    Exclusively formula-fed29.47.2
Infants with atopic outcome at age 2 years, %
    Recurrent wheeze12.86.3
Total IgE, median (range)¶10.0 (⩽0.5–5300.0)16.5 (⩽0.5–3700.0)