The microbiota, sometimes referred to as the microbiome, is a community of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that is naturally present at various sites in the body.
The microbiota, sometimes referred to as the microbiome, is a community of microorganisms (e.g., bacteria, viruses, and fungi) that is naturally present at various sites in the body. It is transmitted through generations. Mammals are born colonized with live microbes they acquire from their mothers during labor, and these microbes play a role in healthy development of the body’s organs and systems. In people, practices such as Cesarean section (or C-section, bypassing the birth canal), antibiotic use during pregnancy, and modern antimicrobial factors—some needed, others not—can reduce microbial transmission or perturb the microbiota. The consequences for health include an association with increased risk for immune and metabolic diseases. Dr. Dominguez-Bello will also discuss the impact of changes in lifestyle, such as increasing urbanization, on the microbiota; the need for research on microbes that become “lost”; and future restoration strategies.
- Learn about the colonization of infants with live microbes acquired during their mother’s labor.
- Improve understanding of the effects of factors that impair neonatal colonization (such as C-section).
- Gain knowledge of the effects of modern antimicrobial practices on developmental phenotypes.
Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, Ph.D., is the Henry Rutgers Professor of Microbiome and Health in the Departments of Biochemistry and Microbiology, and Anthropology, at Rutgers University. She is also interim director of the New Jersey Institute for Food, Nutrition, and Health. Dr. Dominguez-Bello is a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology. She has received funding from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. Dr. Dominguez-Bello received her Ph.D. in microbiology and her M.S. in animal nutrition from the University of Aberdeen, Scotland.