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Recent evidence points to an important role for the microbiome in regulating brain function and behaviour.  A new paper from Livia Morais et al. in Prof John Cryan’s lab shows that birth by Caesarean (C)-section results in a different pattern of microbiota colonization with long-term behavioural consequences in the mouse.

Birth by C-section is known to impact early gut microbiota colonization and is associated with an increased risk of developing immune and metabolic disorders as well as affecting neurodevelopment. However, until now, the long-term effects of C-section on neurobehavioral processes remained unknown.

The new research shows that in early life, mice born by C-section have changes in Bifidobacterium species. And that these mice have behavioural deficits throughout their lifespan.

However, co-housing mice born by C-section with mice born vaginally corrected social deficits.  In addition, behaviour of mice born by C-section is improved through feeding with either B.breve or a prebiotic mixture.

Enduring Behavioral Effects Induced by Birth by Caesarean Section in the Mouse Livia Morais et al 2020 Current Biology Vol 30 Issue 19 5th October 2020 p 3761-37774  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2020.07.044