January 2015 - The Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) has selected the SyMBIOTA Research paper on 2013 paper on Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 monthsto receive the Bruce Squires Award. The honour is “awarded annually to the author(s) of the research paper published in the journal (during the previous year) that is most relevant to the practice of medicine and most likely to impact it in a positive way.”

Our study highlighted the potential impact of early childhood exposures, such as the method of delivery in childbirth and infant feeding, on the infant gut microbiome and lifelong health.

Research published in Chest has found that children born to women experiencing distress during and after pregnancy are at increased risk of developing asthma and atopic dermatitis at age 5 years.

The study used data on over 12,000 women and children from Manitoba, Canada and support recommendations for greater psychosocial support of mothers during pregnancy and early childhood to prevent childhood atopic disease.

Updated: Mar 30

A new study published in Clinical Experimental Allergy, and featured on the Journal's cover, has found that moms experiencing antepartum depressive symptoms delivered offspring who exhibited lower fecal sectretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) concentrations especially in later infancy. The researchers followed 1,043 newborn babies participating in the CHILD Study Cohort, and builds on our previous study that showed a general association between a mother’s prenatal and postnatal distress and her child’s sIgA levels.

The antibody—secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA)⁠—is thought to help an infant’s developing immune system distinguish between harmful and harmless substances in the gut.

“To our knowledge, ours is the first human study to show an association between the timing of a mother’s depression during pregnancy and a lowered gut immunity in her infant,” said senior researcher Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj (University of Alberta).

“Our findings suggest that there is a ‘critical window’ when a mom’s mental health can have a significant impact on the development of her infant’s gut microbiome and immune health,” she added. The findings may have implications on microbe‐sIgA interactions, greater risk for C difficile colonization and atopic disease in later years.

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