Right after birth, trillions of microbes rush into a baby’s gut and start to grow. Most of these critters come from the mom’s skin, birth canal and gut.
But exactly which types of bacteria take up residence in an infant’s gut can depend on the mother’s DNA, scientists reported Thursday.
The study, published in the journal Microbiome, focuses on a microbe called Bifidobacterium that potentially benefits babies.
“It plays a role in preventing infections,” says Zachery Lewis, a graduate student in microbiology at the University of California, Davis, who contributed to the study. “Bifidobacteria sort of push other bacteria out. They lower the gut’s pH, which a lot of pathogens don’t like.”
After birth, Bifidobacterium is one of the first microbes to arrive in a baby’s gut. But not all infants get the microbe at the same time — or in the same amounts.
Microbiome Restoration Comment – Mom’s DNA Alters Baby’s Gut Bacteria
Great article. Encouraging mothers to breast feed is very important. From the minute an infant leaves the safety of its mother’s womb it now has to fend for itself. Breast milk is key to the beginning of a healthy microbiome.