Microbial ecology and host-microbiota interactions during early life stages
Volume 3, Issue 4
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Pages 352 - 365http://dx.doi.org/10.4161/gmic.21215
: early life, health, infant, microbiota, probiotic
Authors: Maria Carmen Collado, Maria Cernada, Christine Baüerl, Máximo Vento and Gaspar Pérez-Martínez View affiliations
The role of human microbiota has been redefined during recent years and its physiological role is now much more important than earlier understood. Intestinal microbial colonization is essential for the maturation of immune system and for the developmental regulation of the intestinal physiology. Alterations in this process of colonization have been shown to predispose and increase the risk to disease later in life. The first contact of neonates with microbes is provided by the maternal microbiota. Moreover, mode of delivery, type of infant feeding and other perinatal factors can influence the establishment of the infant microbiota. Taken into consideration all the available information it could be concluded that the exposure to the adequate microbes early in gestation and neonatal period seems to have a relevant role in health. Maternal microbial environment affects maternal and fetal immune physiology and, of relevance, this interaction with microbes at the fetal-maternal interface could be modulated by specific microbes administered to the pregnant mother. Indeed, probiotic interventions aiming to reduce the risk of immune-mediated diseases may appear effective during early life.
Received: February 3, 2012; Accepted: June 21, 2012; Published Online: June 29, 2012
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