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Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2012 Dec;41(4):717-31. doi: 10.1016/j.gtc.2012.08.001. Epub 2012 Oct 1.

Early development of intestinal microbiota: implications for future health.

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Department of Pediatrics, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 600 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA.


Gut microbiota constitute a highly complex ecosystem that interacts with the host and profoundly affects gastrointestinal and systemic immunologic functions. Specific microbial patterns are associated with healthy children and adults, and these patterns are greatly related to the early acquisition of microbes by the newborn and the development of gut microbial communities in the perinatal period. Although direct causation must be firmly established and mechanisms fully elucidated, strong and increasing evidence shows that the early acquisition, development, and maintenance of specific bacterial populations are critical to human health, and a better understanding of these offers great opportunities for intervention.

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