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The Power of Maternal Microbes on Infant Health

Objective

Recent reports suggest that early microbial colonization has an important role for in promoting health. This may contribute to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as obesity, allergies and inflammatory conditions. Advances in understanding host-microbe interactions imply that maternal microbiota plays a crucial role on health programming. This process begins in utero and it is modulated by mode of delivery and diet. My research has shown that i) specific shifts in milk microbial composition are associated with lactation time and mode of delivery, ii) milk microbes drive the infant microbiota composition; iii) maternal microbiota dysbiosis may be transferred to the infant. However, factors defining maternal microbiota and its biological role upon infant’s health are not yet fully understood. Hence, this project aims to characterize maternal microbes to be transferred to neonates and determine their function in infant health programming. The specific aims are:(1) understanding how the maternal microbiome is influenced by host and environmental factors;(2) characterizing the microbial core and bioactive compounds transmitted to the offspring mainly via breastfeeding and their key roles in the microbial modulation and host response;(3) understanding the interactions among breast milk bioactive compounds and their role in infant health;(4) shedding light on how maternal microbes influence the infant immune system & (5)development of new dietary strategies and therapies based on microbial replacement and modulation. To achieve these objectives, a systems biology approach by means of state-of-the-art techniques and new methodologies based on subpopulation enrichment by flow cytometer-sorter to study host–microbe interactions will be used. Results obtained will demonstrate the interaction between infant nutrition, microbes and host response in early life and its key role in health programming, enabling new applications in the field of personalized nutrition & medicine.

Field of science

  • /medical and health sciences/basic medicine/immunology
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/oncology/cancer/breast cancer
  • /medical and health sciences/clinical medicine/allergology
  • /medical and health sciences/health sciences/nutrition

Call for proposal

ERC-2014-STG
See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

ERC-STG - Starting Grant

Host institution

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Spain
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 1 499 979

Beneficiaries (1)

AGENCIA ESTATAL CONSEJO SUPERIOR DEINVESTIGACIONES CIENTIFICAS
Spain
EU contribution
€ 1 499 979
Address
Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations