Study links low-birth-weight babies' gut bacteria to infection risks

11/4/2013 | MedPage Today (free registration)

Low-birth-weight infants may lack diversity of gut bacteria or harbor bacteria linked to infection or necrotizing enterocolitis, making them vulnerable to infections, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. The study provides additional information about how microbiota play a role in health. "Postnatal microbial colonization prompts the terminal maturation of host intestinal structures, mediates the development of the immune system, and induces resistance to invasion by would-be pathogens," researchers noted.

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