Research Overview

Using the CHILD Cohort Study ( as a research platform, the SyMBIOTA research program has sequenced the gut microbiota of over 1500 infants at 3 and 12 months of age using next generation Illumina 16S rRNA sequencing. To date it is the largest infant microbiome study in North America.

Current research projects include:

  • Characterizing microbiota profiles from fecal samples of CHILD study infants at birth, 3 months and 1 year of age, in order to describe the development of the gut microbiome during infancy.​

  • Determining perinatal factors such as birth method, infant feeding type and antibiotic exposure, which shape infant gut microbiota at birth, age 3 months and 1 year, and its development over time​.

  • Determining whether exposure-induced changes in gut microbiota due to infant antibiotic exposure, for example, are associated with: infant gut mucosal immunity (secretory IgA) and atopic disease (food allergy, atopic sensitization and dermatitis, recurrent wheeze) and childhood overweight/obesity.

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Image by: Meghan Azad

Conceptual Framework