Alberta BLOOM is a significant research initiative aiming to understand how the microbiome of children born premature develops over the first years of life in comparison to the microbiome of children born at term. This study is investigating how environmental factors (e.g. nutrition, stress, medications, skin to skin, etc.) affect the developing microbiome and the health of infants born prematurely. BLOOM will also study the development of the microbiome and the immune system of children over the first years of life, to learn how microbes that inhabit a child’s gut can influence the risk of asthma and allergies.
By following children from birth to preschool age, Alberta BLOOM will collect information from the most critical developmental time points. The invaluable participation of babies born premature and babies born at term will greatly add to our understanding of the microbiome and will also provide future opportunities to predict outcomes and provide better treatments to children born premature.
By studying the early-life microbiome of both premature and term infants, their environment and immune system, Alberta BLOOM aims to one day help transform the life and livelihoods of infants born too soon.