Writing Exercise #15

One project that I would be most excited about funding would be how microbes during pregnancy and birth could affect one’s life down the road. There seem to be a few different consequences resulting from a newborn’s microbiome that can affect their life down the road. For example, being born via C-section seems to be correlated with asthma and allergies that are usually life-long diseases. Additionally, being babies born via C-section seems to contain a higher proportion of bacterial antibiotic-resistance genes compared to vaginally delivered infants. This could lead to more infections as an infant, risking the child’s life. Also, being breastfed vs formula fed has an impact on the microbes colonization of the mouth, with breast-fed infants containing oral lactobacilli with antimicrobial properties. Additionally, when mothers have oral infections it seems to have negative effects on their child such as pre-term births. The extent of how microbes colonizing newborns is varied and can have many long term effects that I would be interested in learning about. I think we would learn how specific behaviors that affect microbiomes, ultimately influence the lives of newborns. For example, if infants are colonized with skin bacteria in C-sections and not vaginal bacteria, then shortly after birth doctors should consider somehow inoculating the child with their mother’s vaginal fluids so they get the benefits and prevent asthma/allergies. Or, if it was proven that mouth infections of the mother can cause pre-term births then the doctors could work towards ridding the mother of the infection before it negatively affects their child.

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