What types of microbes do mothers transmit to their newborns and how universal is maternal microbial transmission throughout animals, including from your mother?
The sterile womb paradigm is an enduring premise in biology that human infants are born sterile. Recent studies suggest that infants incorporate an initial microbiome before birth and receive copious supplementation of maternal microbes through birth and 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 from a taxonomically specialized phenomenon to a universal one in animals. It also engenders fresh views on the assembly of the microbiome, its role in animal evolution, and applications to human health and disease.
Link to the paper: http://www.plosbiology.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pbio.1001631
Link to the story behind the paper: http://symbionticism.blogspot.com/2013/08/the-story-behind-mom-knows-best.html
Link to blog post by J. Eisen: http://blogs.plos.org/biologue/2013/08/22/yet-another-thing-for-which-to-blamethank-your-mother-your-microbes/
Link to NY Times article: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/29/science/human-microbiome-may-be-seeded-before-birth.html?ref=science&_r=1&&utm_source=buffer&utm_campaign=Buffer&utm_content=buffere96a1&utm_medium=twitter