This article is about koalas, but stay with me, it directly connects with the infant microbiome....
Just like in humans, koala microbiomes vary by population and contain different species of bacteria with diet being an important factor - "You are what you eat, it seems, even if you’re a koala"
Where it strongly connects with the human microbiome is in birth and infant feeding: "In addition to breast milk, koala mothers produce a goopy, green poop that their joeys lap up. It may sound revolting, but scientists surmise that it’s nature’s way of making sure the next generation acquires the microbes it needs to survive".
That's just like in humans. Vaginal birth and breastfeeding provides the baby with the mother's vaginal, gut and breast milk microbes, plus in breast milk, you have the special HMO sugars to feed the microbes acquired from the mother. As with koalas, it's nature’s way of ensuring the next generation acquires the microbes it needs to survive.
Fingers crossed for the survival of koalas...
Here's the link to the Washington Post article about the health of the koalas and the importance of the koals microbiome:
For more information about the infant microbiome, check out our CE approved courses at http://microbiomecourses.com