The maternal microbiome has emerged as an important area of investigation. While birth is a critical timepoint for initial colonization of the newborn, the fetus resides in the womb surrounded by multiple unique colonized niches. The maternal microbiome has recently been shown to be associated with several morbidities in offspring. Understanding the multiple bacterial niches within the pregnant woman and how they interact with the fetus in-utero can lead to novel therapies to improve the health of offspring. In this review, we provide an overview of the available literature on normal bacterial colonization within the individual niches of the pregnant woman and the known associations with outcomes in offspring, including a discussion of the controversy of in-utero colonization.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology