Why is the Microbiome Important for the Health of Children Born Premature?

The community of microbes (tiny living things such as bacteria) that make up the microbiome in the first years of life can have a major impact on a child’s health and development. Recent studies have shown that the gut microbiome during infancy can impact the risk of developing asthma. Children born premature are more likely to have changes in their gut microbiome that are associated with asthma and allergies. Despite their increased risk of suffering from asthma, the role of the microbiome in asthma risk is not well understood for children born premature. The Alberta BLOOM Premature Child Study is the first study to research this in Canada.