Development of the gut microbiota and dysbiosis in children

Biosci Microbiota Food Health. 2021;40(1):12-18. doi: 10.12938/bmfh.2020-034. Epub 2020 Aug 25.


The gut microbiota resides in the human gastrointestinal tract, where it plays an important role in maintaining host health. Recent advancements in next-generation sequencing methods have revealed the link between dysbiosis (imbalance of the normal gut microbiota) and several diseases, as this imbalance can disrupt the symbiotic relationship between the host and associated microbes. Establishment of the gut microbiota starts in utero or just after birth, and its composition dramatically changes to an adult-like composition by 3 years of age. Because dysbiosis during childhood may persist through adulthood, it is crucial to acquire a balanced gut microbiota in childhood. Therefore, current studies have focused on the factors affecting the infant gut microbiota. This review discusses recent findings, including those from our studies, on how various factors, including the delivery mode, feeding type, and administration of drugs, including antibiotics, can influence the infant gut microbiota. Here, we also address future approaches for the prevention and restoration of dysbiosis in children.

Keywords: 16S rRNA gene sequencing; antibiotics; dysbiosis; feeding type; gut microbiota; mode of delivery.

Publication types

  • Review