Study Examines Impacts of Asthma During Pregnancy on Infant Gut Microbes

In the November 2017 edition of the European Respiratory Journal, an article examines whether microbes in the guts of infants are affected by being “born to an asthmatic mother, and whether this differs by sex of the infant.” In order to do this, researchers looked at 1021 mother-infant pairs from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development full-term cohort. Researchers then looked at “the abundance of infant faecal microbiota at 3-4 months.”

Researchers found that “independent of birth mode and covariates, male, Caucasian infants born to women with prenatal asthma” had less of the gut microbe lactobacilli at 3-4 months of age. Female infants, on the other hand, were found to have an increase in the gut microbe Bacteroidaceae. Researchers concluded, “gut lactobacilli were less abundant in male infants, but Bacteroidaceae were more abundant in female infants at 3–4 months of age, following maternal asthma during pregnancy.”

The research has implications not only for understanding the onset of asthma but how it might be prevented.

For a news article on the study, click here.

For the article’s abstract and additional information, click here.