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DEBUNKING THE MYTH OF THE STERILE WOMB.
May 24, 2017
The assertion that the womb is sterile is an enduring premise in biology that has been challenged in recent years.
Several studies have now demonstrated that infants incorporate an initial microbiome before birth while in the womb, suggesting that the womb itself is the source of the inceptive microbiome.
The birthing process itself supplies the next inoculation of microbes as the infant traverses the birth canal, followed soon thereafter by copious supplementation of maternal microbes from breastfeeding.
Moreover, evidence for microbial maternal transmission is increasingly widespread across animals.
This collective knowledge compels a paradigm shift — one in which maternal transmission of microbes advances fresh views on the assembly of the microbiome, its role in animal evolution, and applications to human health and disease.
When it comes to the microbiome, it seems more and more evident that mom matters most.