A recent paper published in Nature Communications reports that different delivery methods – vaginal normal or cesarean – are associated with changes in the gut microbiome and response to specific childhood vaccines in newborns.
The researchers surveyed 101 infants delivered by normal or cesarean section to assess their gut microbiome during the first 12 months of life.
In addition, they assessed the antibody responses of these infants to two conventional childhood vaccines (pneumococcal and meningococcal vaccines) that directly target respiratory pathogens at 12-18 months of life.
They found that infants born by cesarean section would have higher levels of bifidobacterium (Bifidobacterium) and Escherichia coli (Escherichia coli) in their gut microbes and a stronger IgG antibody response to both vaccines during the first few months of life.
After comparison with infants delivered by cesarean section, their results suggest that the microbiome in the gut mediates the association between mode of delivery and pneumococcal vaccine response.
Mode of delivery may lead to microbiome alterations and immune system responses to childhood vaccines.
However, the correspondence between differences in antibody levels and the strength of immune protection remains an open question.