How the gut microbiome develops in the first five years of life
"Developmental trajectory of the healthy human gut microbiota during the first 5 years of life" by first co-authors Josefine Roswall and Lisa Olsson was published today in Cell Host & Microbe. The article describes how the human gut microbiome largely reaches an adult-like composition by five years of age. The study also shows that important differences remain and several bacterial taxa that have been associated with human health are aquired late in childhood and have not reached their adult abundance by five years of age.
"We hope to highlight that the gut microbiota continues to develop during childhood" says Fredrik Bäckhed, senior study author in an interview with Cell Press. "Our findings highlight the possiblity that the microbiota may be particularly sensitive to disturbances during this early establishment, which may have profound effects on health later in life."