Missing Microbes in Infants born by C-section
Photo (left to right): Prof Paul Ross, Director of APC Microbiome Ireland, Dr Lori Lathrop Stern, Science Liaison at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences , Dr Martin Kullen, Global Research & Development Lead at DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences and Prof Catherine Stanton, Principal Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland.
Rebalancing babies’ gut bacteria, whether after antibiotic exposure or Caesarean-section birth, is the topic of a new collaborative research project between APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre and DuPont Nutrition & Biosciences (DuPont) announced recently in Washington D.C. where representatives from both organisations attended an event to celebrate US-Ireland research, develop collaborations, and to announce the ‘Missing Microbes in Infants born by C-section’ (MiMIC) project.
The €6.3 million, four-year MiMIC project will be funded jointly by Science Foundation Ireland’s Spokes Programme and DuPont. It aims to develop microbiome-based solutions to help establish a healthy microbiome in early life to facilitate the long-term health of individuals.
The population of bacteria in the gut develops over the first four years of life and plays a key role in human health. Establishment of a healthy gut microbiome in early life is influenced by birth mode, antibiotic use and nutrition, including breast milk components. Infant gut microbiota can be severely depleted in infants born by C-section or exposed to antibiotics. Breastfeeding can help improve microbiota composition.
APC Microbiome Ireland SFI Research Centre is ranked number one globally for research in antimicrobial and therapeutic microbes and is in the top five institutions in the world for microbiome research.
The Ireland-based research team includes Prof Catherine Stanton (project leader) Prof Paul Ross, Prof Eugene Dempsey, Neonatology Lead at INFANT Research Centre (UCC), Dept. of Paediatrics and Child Health, Cork University Maternity Hospital and APC Microbiome Ireland, and Prof John Cryan, who leads brain-gut-microbiome research at APC Microbiome Ireland.