New animal research reveals an altered gut microbiome associated with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) is transferred from mother to her baby.

The research published in Gut indicates that expectant mothers with IBD have an altered gut microbiome that persists during pregnancy. Their children also have an altered infant gut microbiome, and this altered gut microbiome triggers changes in the adaptive immune system.

This research was done in germ-free mice, and obviously humans are very different from mice, but this is another important piece of the puzzle which is especially relevant as the incidence of IBD is growing worlwide, especially in children.

This article in Gut Microbiota for Health is not so easy to understand (for non-scientists like me), but it does include the differences in types of bacteria:

"Differences in gut microbiota composition in mothers with IBD compared to mothers without IBD were driven by a depletion in the relative abundance of Bacteroidetes and an increase in the relative abundance of Proteobacteria . Likewise, babies born to mothers with IBD showed a gut microbiota enriched in Gammaproteobacteria— linked to intestinal inflammation and IBD—and depleted in Bifidobacteria—a gut commensal used as a probiotic for managing mild to moderately active ulcerative colitis. Notably, reduced bacterial diversity in the offspring of mothers with IBD was apparent as early as the end of the first week of life and persisted for the duration of the 3-month study."


Article in Gut Microbiota for Health:

Scientific reference:

Torres J, Hu J, Seki A, et al. Infants born to mothers with IBD present with altered gut microbiome that transfers abnormalities of the adaptive immune system to germ-free mice. Gut. 2020; 69:42-51. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2018-317855.