A balanced microbial composition is essential in maintaining health during infancy and childhood (0-12 years). Alterations in microbial communities may increase a child’s susceptibility to paediatric disorders. Despite extensive research in recent years and our improved knowledge of the potential functional capacity of the microbiome, causal mechanisms linking dysbiosis to development of paediatric diseases remain speculative. It is still relatively unclear what constitutes a healthy infant and child microbiome in relation to its host. A solid research agenda in paediatric microbiome research is key to elucidate the various roles of the microbiota in health and disease, as well as for developing feasible and therapeutic options. In this chapter, we provide an overview of the potential roles of the microbiota in health and disease in infants and children. Additionally, we summarise the future steps that will be necessary for understanding the functional properties of the microbial communities and for developing preventive and therapeutic strategies to mitigate the impact of dysbiosis on health in infants and children.
|Title of host publication||Microbiota in health and disease: from pregnancy to childhood|
|Editors||Pamela D. Browne, Eric Claassen, Michael D. Cabana|
|Publisher||Wageningen Academic Publishers|
|Number of pages||19|
|Publication status||Published - 14 Jul 2017|