Antibiotics, birth mode, and diet shape microbiome maturation during early life

Sci Transl Med. 2016 Jun 15;8(343):343ra82. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aad7121.


Early childhood is a critical stage for the foundation and development of both the microbiome and host. Early-life antibiotic exposures, cesarean section, and formula feeding could disrupt microbiome establishment and adversely affect health later in life. We profiled microbial development during the first 2 years of life in a cohort of 43 U.S. infants and identified multiple disturbances associated with antibiotic exposures, cesarean section, and formula feeding. These exposures contributed to altered establishment of maternal bacteria, delayed microbiome development, and altered α-diversity. These findings illustrate the complexity of early-life microbiome development and its sensitivity to perturbation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Breast Feeding
  • Cesarean Section
  • Delivery, Obstetric*
  • Diet*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents