The maternal gut microbiome during pregnancy and offspring allergy and asthma

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Yuan Gao
  • Ralph Nanan
  • Laurence Macia
  • Jian Tan
  • Luba Sominsky
  • Thomas P. Quinn
  • Martin O'Hely
  • Anne-Louise Ponsonby
  • Mimi L. K. Tang
  • Fiona Collier
  • Deborah H. Strickland
  • Poshmaal Dhar
  • Susanne Brix
  • Simon Phipps
  • Peter D. Sly
  • Sarath Ranganathan
  • Stokholm, Jakob
  • Kristiansen, Karsten
  • Lawrence E.K. Gray
  • Peter Vuillermin

Environmental exposures during pregnancy that alter both the maternal gut microbiome and the infant's risk of allergic disease and asthma include a traditional farm environment and consumption of unpasteurized cow's milk, antibiotic use, dietary fiber, and psychosocial stress. Multiple mechanisms acting in concert may underpin these associations and prime the infant to acquire immune competence and homeostasis following exposure to the extrauterine environment. Cellular and metabolic products of the maternal gut microbiome can promote the expression of microbial pattern recognition receptors, as well as thymic and bone marrow hematopoiesis relevant to regulatory immunity. At birth, transmission of maternally derived bacteria likely leverages this in utero programming to accelerate postnatal transition from a TH2- to TH1- and TH17-dominant immune phenotype and maturation of regulatory immune mechanisms, which in turn reduce the child's risk of allergic disease and asthma. Although our understanding of these phenomena is rapidly evolving, the field is relatively nascent, and we are yet to translate existing knowledge into interventions that substantially reduce disease risk in humans. Here, we review evidence that the maternal gut microbiome impacts the offspring's risk of allergic disease and asthma, discuss challenges and future directions for the field, and propose the hypothesis that maternal carriage of Prevotella copri during pregnancy decreases the offspring's risk of allergic disease via production of succinate, which in turn promotes bone marrow myelopoiesis of dendritic cell precursors in the fetus.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Volume148
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)669-678
ISSN0091-6749
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology

    Research areas

  • allergy, asthma, fetal immunity, Gut microbiome

ID: 279253862