Does the Mother Influence the Child’s Microbiota?

Tempo de Leitura: 3 minutos

The microbiota is highly modifiable and is influenced by several factors. Thus, more than half of the infant microbiota is transmitted by the mother, and factors such as the type of delivery and the type of breastfeeding interfere with the microbial richness of the child. In this sense, find out now how these transmission mechanisms occur between mother and child. Read on.

Functions of the Microbiota

It is already well established that the microorganisms that cohabit our body interfere with many of our metabolic and physiological processes. Among its functions is to metabolize some nutrients and also prevent the proliferation of potentially pathogenic microorganisms to the host. That way, the more Diversified for the microbiota, the less likely the individual will be to develop certain clinical conditions.

Microbiota, Childbirth and Fetal Colonization

In this aspect, at the beginning of life, this colonization is mainly done by the mother’s microbiota., in a transfer process. Therefore, children born in cesarean section have a total composition different of those born through vaginal delivery. In addition, the early contact between the skin of the child and the mother, also influences the type of microorganism that this baby will present in the coming years of life. As mentioned earlier, babies who have been breastfed with breast milk in addition to ingesting Immunoglobulins that fortify your immune system and nutrients indispensable to your growth are also being colonized by bacteria, fungi, viruses and other maternal microorganisms.

Although many studies have demonstrated vertical transmission of the microbiota between mother and fetus, research niches focus primarily on the vaginal microbiota and also on milk. However, a March 2023 study published in the journal
Cell host & microbe
, looked at the influence of the microbiota on other areas of the body. In addition, the bacterial community of the respiratory tract was related to the development of asthma in a situation of low exposure to the microbiota of the respiratory tract. This fact shows that mother-baby contact soon after birth is vital for immune protection and bacterial transfer, and about half (58.5%) of the infant microbiota is transmitted by the mother.

Types of Delivery and Concentrations of Strains

The composition of the microbiota is being modified throughout the days when the baby is being exposed to new environments. In this sense, saliva, nasopharynx and skin are colonized in the first days of life of the newborn. In addition, the highest concentration of Bifidobacterium

spp. is found in full-term newborns from normal delivery that has been shown to be a protective factor to some diseases. Added to this, the community of Bacteroides in this population presents a strong decline in the first week of life because it does not find other microorganisms that support its colonization. Therefore, babies born by normal delivery have more Bacteroides spp.

, Ruminococcus gnavus

, Collinsella aerofaciens

and Veillonella

when compared to those born by cesarean section.

Clinical practice

Therefore, from the findings listed above, it is noted that mother-baby contact is paramount for the health of both. In this sense, more than half of the infant microbiota is transmitted by the mother, which reinforces the numerous benefits of previous contact soon after birth. In addition, The first days of life are crucial for microbial colonization to make the microbiota exert its protective role during the life of the child.

Bibliographic references

Transmission of the microbiota from mother to child
BOGAERT, D. et al. Mother-to-infant microbiota transmission and infant microbiota development across multiple body sites. Cell host & microbe, v. 31, n. 3, p. 447- 460.e6, 2023.

Read more about the topic:
The effects of the vegetarian and vegan diet during pregnancy on the health of mothers and children

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