Main content area

Maternal Vertical Transmission Affecting Early-life Microbiota Development

Wang, Shaopu, Ryan, C. Anthony, Boyaval, Patrick, Dempsey, Eugene M., Ross, R. Paul, Stanton, Catherine
Trends in microbiology 2020 v.28 no.1 pp. 28-45
adults, human development, human genetics, humans, infancy, microbiome, microorganisms, pregnancy, therapeutics
The association of the human microbiome with health outcomes has attracted much interest toward its therapeutic manipulation. The likelihood of modulating the human microbiome in early life is high and offers great potential to exert profound effects on human development since the early microbiota shows more flexibility compared to that of adults. The human microbiota, being similar to human genetics, can be transmitted from mother to infant, providing insights into early microbiota acquisition, subsequent development, and potential opportunities for intervention. Here, we review adaptations of the maternal microbiota during pregnancy, birth, and infancy, the acquisition and succession of early-life microbiota, and highlight recent efforts to elucidate mother-to-infant microbiota transmission. We further discuss how the mother-to-infant microbial transmission is shaped; and finally we address potential directions for future studies to promote our understanding within this field.