Impact of maternal antibiotics during birth and caesarean section on infant gut Bifidobacterium

Research from the SyMBIOTA team, published in the journal Microorganisms, set out to explore the joint effect of multiple birth-related factors—delivery mode, antibiotic use during childbirth, and the onset of labour—on the abundance of a specific bacterium (Bifidobacterium) in the infant gut microbiome.


Our team studied associations between the microbes in the stool of 1,654 infants in the CHILD Study and found that the abundance of beneficial Bifidobacteria was decreased in infants born vaginally whose mothers received antibiotics during birth, even among breastfed infants, and was also decreased in infants born by cesarean delivery, with or without labour. Significant correlations between Bifidobacterium abundance and other microbial taxa were also observed.

Members of the genus Bifidobacterium are pioneer gut colonizers. They are considered foundational microbiota members that influence the early-life gut microbial community and exert positive effects on host health.

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