Discovery of infants' airway microbiomes may help predict lung disease

In contrast to the general belief that the airways of an infant are sterile until after birth, researchers have found that the infant airway is already colonized with bacteria when a baby is born — and this is true for infants born as early as 24 weeks gestation. How microbes get into the airways is still unclear, but the pattern of colonization appears to have an important link to later severe neonatal lung disease….

In contrast to the general belief that the airways of an infant are sterile until after birth, researchers have found that the infant airway is already colonized with bacteria when a baby is born — and this is true for infants born as early as 24 weeks gestation. How microbes get into the airways is still unclear, but the pattern of colonization appears to have an important link to later severe neonatal lung disease….