Risk of childhood asthma by caesarean section is mediated through the early gut microbiome

November 12, 2020

The prevalence of caesarean section has increased globally in recent decades. While the World Health Organisation suggests that the procedure should be performed in less than 15% of births to prevent morbidity and mortality, the prevalence is higher in most countries. Children born by caesarean section have an increased risk of developing asthma and other immune-mediated diseases compared to children born by vaginal delivery. A link between caesarean section and later disease has been suggested to be mediated through microbial effects.

For the first time, in a new study published in Science Translational Medicine, researchers from Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood (COPSAC), University of Copenhagen, Danish technical University and Rutgers University describe how delivery by caesarean section leads to a skewed gut microbiome and associates with asthma development in the first 6 years of life.

Using the well-established Copenhagen Prospective Studies on Asthma in Childhood2010 (COPSAC2010) mother-child cohort the researchers analyzed the effects of delivery mode on the gut microbiome at multiple timepoints in the first year of life in and to explore whether perturbations of the microbiome can explain the delivery mode-associated risk of developing asthma during childhood.

Increased asthma risk was found in children born by caesarean section only if their gut microbiota at age 1 year still carried a caesarean section signature. No associations with asthma existed from the very early though more pronounced microbial perturbations.

"Even though a child is born by caesarean section and has an immense early microbial perturbation, this may not lead to a higher risk of asthma, if the microbiome matures sufficiently before age 1 year," says Jakob Stokholm, senior researcher and first author on the study.

He continues: "Our study proposes the perspective of restoring a caesarean section perturbed microbiome and thereby perhaps prevent asthma development in a child, who is otherwise in high risk. This study provides a mechanism for the known link between C-section birth and heightened risk of asthma: it is a one-two punch-abnormal early microbiota and then failure to mature."

Søren J. Sørensen, professor at the University of Copenhagen, adds:

"This study has implications for understanding the microbiota's role in asthma development after delivery by caesarean section and could in the future potentially lead to novel prevention strategies and targeted, efficient microbiota manipulation in children who had early perturbations of the microbiome."
-end-
Read the full article 'Delivery mode associates with the risk of childhood asthma partly through long-term microbial changes in the developing gut' in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

University of Copenhagen

Related Asthma Articles from Brightsurf:

Breastfeeding and risks of allergies and asthma
In an Acta Paediatrica study, exclusive breastfeeding for the first 3 months was linked with a lower risk of respiratory allergies and asthma when children reached 6 years of age.

Researchers make asthma breakthrough
Researchers from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough that may eventually lead to improved therapeutic options for people living with asthma.

Physics vs. asthma
A research team from the MIPT Center for Molecular Mechanisms of Aging and Age-Related Diseases has collaborated with colleagues from the U.S., Canada, France, and Germany to determine the spatial structure of the CysLT1 receptor.

New knowledge on the development of asthma
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have studied which genes are expressed in overactive immune cells in mice with asthma-like inflammation of the airways.

Eating fish may help prevent asthma
A scientist from James Cook University in Australia says an innovative study has revealed new evidence that eating fish can help prevent asthma.

Academic performance of urban children with asthma worse than peers without asthma
A new study published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology shows urban children with poorly controlled asthma, particularly those who are ethnic minorities, also suffer academically.

Asthma Controller Step Down Yardstick -- treatment guidance for when asthma improves
The focus for asthma treatment is often stepping up treatment, but clinicians need to know how to step down therapy when symptoms improve.

Asthma management tools improve asthma control and reduce hospital visits
A set of comprehensive asthma management tools helps decrease asthma-related visits to the emergency department, urgent care or hospital and improves patients' asthma control.

Asthma linked to infertility but not among women taking regular asthma preventers
Women with asthma who only use short-acting asthma relievers take longer to become pregnant than other women, according to research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

What are the best ways to diagnose and manage asthma?
A team of experts from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston examined the current information available from many different sources on diagnosing and managing mild to moderate asthma in adults and summarized them.

Read More: Asthma News and Asthma Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.