Caesarean section reduced the strength of children’s immune response to vaccination

(ORDO NEWS) — Early childhood vaccination is estimated to save millions of lives each year. However, the authors of the new study showed that caesarean section can lead to changes in the child’s microbiome and reduce the strength of his immune response after the vaccine is administered.

The way a child is born traditional (vaginal delivery) or as a result of a caesarean section affects changes in its microbiome and the subsequent reaction of the body to vaccination, or rather, the strength of the immune response.

Cesarean section is considered one of the most ancient operations, however, at first, the procedure of abdominal surgery was performed exclusively for dead pregnant women to extract the fetus.

In France of the 16th century, they began to appoint it to living women, but for the sake of saving only one child.

Subsequently, medicine and its methods have improved, so today this method of childbirth is practiced in many developed countries.

During the operation, surgical incisions are made in the anterior abdominal wall above the pubis and on the uterus, the fetal bladder is opened and the baby is pulled out.

Although sometimes a caesarean section is planned in advance if there is a risk of complications in a traditional birth, often its necessity becomes obvious after the onset of labor.

Like other types of operations, caesarean section is associated with risks both for the mother, who, in particular, may experience severe bleeding, infection of the lining of the uterine lining, an adverse reaction to anesthesia, and for the child.

For example, in children born in this way, breathing problems are more common – transient tachypnea . In addition, there is a possibility of surgical trauma accidental cuts on the skin.

Now, scientists have reported that in children born traditionally, the composition of the microbiota the collection of microbes that inhabit the body correlates with a stronger immune response after vaccination compared to those whose mothers required a caesarean section.

In addition to birth methods, the microbiome is also affected by antibiotic intake, nutrition, and breastfeeding.

Debbie Bogart, a Dutch physician and professor of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of Edinburgh, and her colleagues examined 101 healthy infants born vaginally or by caesarean section and studied their microbiome composition during the first 12 months of life.

In addition, the researchers assessed the level of antibodies produced after the introduction of two standard children’s vaccines for the prevention of respiratory infections – pneumococcal and meningococcal – after 12 and 18 months from the moment the babies were born.

Traditional births were found to correlate with increased levels of bifidobacteria ( Bifidobacterium ) and E. coli ( Escherichia coli ) in the intestinal microbiome in the first months of life and higher IgG antibody titers after vaccination with both drugs.

What’s more, the microbiome mediated the relationship between birth mode and response to pneumococcal vaccine compared to caesarean section, the scientists said.

Thus, the way a baby is born can lead to changes in its microbiome and influence the subsequent immune system response to vaccines.

Avoiding the widespread practice of caesarean sections (when it’s not about saving the lives of mother and child) may be important for maintaining a healthy microbiome from early childhood, according to the researchers.


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