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The Women and Childrens Health Research Institute (WCHRI) in Edmonton, Alberta has highlighted important new research conducted by SyMBIOTA lab trainee Carmen Tessier. Her work on maternal distress during pregnancy, infant microbiome and neurodevelopment has revealed that infants born to moms who were distressed during the pre- or postnatal period had significantly higher levels of C. difficile bacteria in their guts and this was linked to lower cognitive and language test scores in childhood. Visit here to read the full article.

Tessier’s research was part of her master’s degree in medical sciences, supervised by SyMBIOTA lead, Dr Anita Kozyrskyj using data from the CHILD Study.

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A novel study published in mSystems special issue has provided new evidence that living near to natural green space in infancy may reduce a child's risk of developing inhalant allergies in early childhood and that it may be mediated by gut microbes.

The study on 699 children from the Edmonton site of the CHILD Study found that living near natural green space was protective against the development of multiple inhalant allergies at age 3 years. This association appeared to be mediated by changes to Actinobacteria diversity in infant stools samples taken at 4 months of age. The findings highlight the importance of promoting natural urban greenspace preservation to improve child health by reducing atopic disease susceptibility and point to a novel causal role of reduced Actinobacteria diversity on atopic sensitization development.

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Updated: May 23

A study published in Biomolecules has revealed that use of vitamin D supplements in infancy may differentially and independently influence infant gut microbiota metabolites. Using data on 575 infants from the CHILD Study, the study looked at whether use of infant vitamin D drops changes concentrations of certain metabolites, specifically glycerol and 1,2 propanediol (1,2-PD) concentrations, in the stools of infants at 3 months of age and characterized associations between these two molecules, and gut microbiota and their metabolites.

The study revealed that infants given vitamin D supplements were more likely to have high 1,2-PD and less likely to have high fecal glycerol compared to those not given vitamin D. Fecal 1,2-PD and glycerol concentrations were found to be negatively correlated with each other. Positive correlations between fecal 1,2-PD, Bifidobacteriaceae, Lactobacillaceae, Enterobacteriaceae and acetate levels were also observed.

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