Publication Date

Spring 2020


School of Health Sciences


Biology: Biomedical Sciences


Cesarean delivery, microbiome, bacterial colonization, microbial dysbiosis


Medicine and Health Sciences | Obstetrics and Gynecology


The infant intestinal microbiome is greatly influenced by method of delivery in relation to bacterial composition, diversity, and richness. The intestinal tracts of cesarean delivered infants are more likely to be colonized with skin microbiota like Clostridium, Staphylococcus, Streptococcus, and Corynebacterium, and have less bacterial diversity and richness than their vaginally delivered counterparts, who are more likely to be colonized with Bacteroides, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus, which are common vaginal bacteria. These microbial differences make cesarean delivered infants more likely to develop allergies, asthma, eczema, gastrointestinal conditions, obesity, and diabetes, among other diseases. Though vaginal seeding has been proposed as a potential solution for microbial dysbiosis, it carries concerns of infection and safety, therefore, probiotics and breastfeeding are recommended as alternatives.