Maternal microbiata plays an important role in our lives as it helps in the development of the offspring contained in the womb of a mother. The term microbiata could be defined as a live, persistent, and functional community that is made up of microorganisms. It also plays a major role in determining how vulnerable we are to certain ailments. A mother and her child always share a microbial bond. It is this bond that makes sure that the ancient question of the supremacy of nature and nurture is an obsolete one. This microbial connection is shaped by a couple of factors – the physical relationship that the mother shares with her child and the host biology. This connection is formed at the earliest stage of our lives.
This is when our mucosal surfaces and skin are being seeded with microorganisms. These microorganisms are there in the bodies of our mothers and these are the ones that are referred to as maternal microbiata. It is this initial exposure that creates an early life microbiata that takes part in a mutualistic relationship with the body of our mothers. This creates a lasting impression on how we develop in our childhoods. It is this development that exercises a controlling effect on the balance between how healthy we are and the diseases that we suffer from.
In recent times, the scientific circle has gone ahead with its desire to explore and understand how this bond works. This has brought out discoveries that are rather exciting as well. This is especially when you take into account the mutual relationship shared by the host body and the microbiata. They have also learned a lot about how our immune system develops in our early life. At the same time, these discoveries have also revolutionized the way we understand how certain diseases and traits get passed down from one generation to the next.
In all mammals including human beings, the first microbes that we come across in our early lives are ones that we get from our maternal microbiata. It is a very basic part of the process of human development. Yet there is not much information about when this contact first happens. The long-held belief in this regard is that fetuses develop in an intrauterine development that is sterile. This has become something of dogma as well. However, this notion has been challenged of late. This is because scientists have unearthed proof that the chorio-amniotic and placental tissues contain DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) from the bacterial genome. The meconium of a newborn also includes culturable microbes.
The term meconium indicates the first feces that we pass after we are born. This raises the significant possibility that microbial colonization starts at the utero stage. Such a proposition is rather controversial. However, it also needs to be acknowledged over here that microbial colonization happens at the time of fetal development with a microbiata playing a bonafide role in the same.
This is perhaps the reason why there is much debate regarding the concept of fetal microbiata. Recently there has been a study that has stated that the human placenta does not have any micro-biome. Thus, it has supported the very contention that there may be nothing such as fetal microbiata. However, it must also be said in this very vein that the study did find small amounts of what could be interpreted as pathogens in its study samples.
On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence that suggests early life microbiata gets seeded when the baby is being delivered.
This happens because of contact with the maternal commensal bacteria. Such bacteria are naturally occurring and nonpathogenic as well. They are mostly present in our birth canals. The fecal and maternal cervicovaginal microbes dominate the microbial inoculum of neonates that are delivered vaginally. In cases where you have deliveries under the caesarian section, the microbial consortia that are imparted are distinctive by nature. It is the microorganisms in your skin that dominate them. It is these findings that suggest that there is some relation between bad health outcomes of children and deliveries in the caesarian section. This is further backed up by data that has been collected by observational studies.
Visit iieHealth, online health portal India regularly to get such healthcare news.