Less gut microbiota diversity after birth by caesarean section

The Swedish researchers noted microbial stimulation during infancy was important to development of a mature immune system, and the infants delivered vaginally had higher levels of particular chemokines.

In the study of 24 healthy women and their babies, the researchers found a major gut phylum, the Bacteroidetes, was slow to colonise caesarean-delivered babies.

This may impact later risk of allergy, they said, noting previous studies had linked caesarean delivery and development of allergic disease.

Gut 2013; online 7