Microbial Composition of the Initial Colonization of Newborns
SamuliI Rautava gives an overview of the factors affecting microbial colonization of newborns. At birth, infants acquire microbiota predominantly from the mother. C-section infants are colonized with bacteria found on the mother’s skin, and have decreased gut microbiota diversity, delayed Bacteroidetes colonization and imbalanced immune responses compared to vaginally-delivered infants. Dysbiosis in infants has been associated with increased risk of non-communicable disease in later life. Prudent antibiotic use, avoidance of unnecessary C-sections,promotion of breastfeeding and maternal supplementation of prebiotics and probiotics are possible interventions to support healthy, early microbial contact.