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Cesarean section prevents children from getting good bacteria from their mother for their immune system, according to a study


Researchers from the Center for Biomedical Systems in Luxembourg have shown that in natural vaginal delivery, specific bacteria in the mother's head are passed on to children and stimulate their immune responses. This phenomenon, however, does not occur in children born by caesarean section.

"This may explain that, from an epidemiological point of view, infants born with a caesarean section suffer more chronic immune-related diseases compared to vaginally-born babies," explains Paul Wilmes, a study director published in Nature Communications,

People were born without embryos. However, birth is usually the time when living bacteria begin to colonize the body, including the intestines, the skin and the lungs. Scientists have long assumed that this early colonization will set the line for later health. However, as this study has done, a caesarean section may prevent the transmission of certain bacteria that normally interact with the child's immune system from the mother to the newborn.

Wilmes, together with colleagues from Sweden and other researchers from Luxembourg, found the first proof of this fact in a newborn study, half of which was born by a caesarean section. "We have found specific bacterial substances that stimulate the immune system in babies born vaginally." In contrast, immunological stimulation in caesarean children is much lower because bacterial starters are present at much lower levels, or other bacterial substances inhibit this initial immunity, "explains the researcher.

This bacterial colonization immune system, along with other factors, explains why cesarean children are statistically more prone to develop allergies, chronic inflammatory diseases and metabolic diseases. "It could be that the immune system of these children changes from the beginning," suggests Paul Wilmes.

Now, researchers want to further explore this link and find a way to replace missing maternal bacterial strains in caesarean-born babies, for example by administering probiotics. "It is clear that we should not intervene very hard in the birth process; children should only be given a caesarean section if this is medically necessary." We must realize that there is a massive interference with natural interactions between humans and bacteria, "he concludes.

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