Babies have a microbial window of opportunity

Scientific American published an op-ed by UBC microbiologist Brett Finlay and University of Calgary scientist Marie-Claire Arrieta on the impacts of limiting our children’s exposure to microbes.

“Three-month-old babies at a high risk of developing asthma later in life were missing four types of bacteria that babies at low risk had, but when we looked at the microbiota at one year of age, the differences were essentially gone. All of this—plus other studies about antibiotics, farms, etc.—points to a critical window of time in which microbial changes in the intestine have long-term immune consequences in the lung,” they wrote.