Early Bacterial Colonization and Potential Implications Later in Life

This activity aims to provide insight into the role of microbiota during the early stages of life in programming health and disease. A second aim is to review potential implications of nutritional interference on early bacterial colonisation derived from the existing evidence. The main objectives will be:

To review existing evidence related to bacterial colonisation early in life (bacterial transfer from the mammary gland and placenta);
To elucidate potential benefits of nutritional mediation of metabolic, immunological and cognitive outcomes through the modulation of microbiota.

The experts will perform a critical analysis of the existing evidence of bacterial colonisation early in life through breastmilk and placental transfer. They will examine the evidence available on how bacterial colonisation can be impacted by nutrition and whether this intervention has potential implications for future developments on maternal and infant nutrition. Further, the group will identify research knowledge gaps, especially related to programming of functional outcomes, highlighting what types of studies are needed in the near future.

Expected Outcome
The aim is to publish two review papers that compile all aspects related to bacterial colonisation early in life (from placenta and mammary gland) and the potential benefits of nutritional mediation. Identification of research gaps and new types of studies needed will be a key part of the activity. The results are expected to provide information for future nutritional strategies for pregnant women and infants to improve early programming outcomes.