Early-life exposures and the microbiome: implications for IBD prevention

Lin Zhang, Manasi Agrawal, Siew C. Ng, Tine Jess

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The early-life period is one of microbiome establishment and immune maturation. Early-life exposures are increasingly being recognised to play an important role in IBD risk. The composition of functions of the gut microbiome in the prenatal, perinatal, and postnatal period may be crucial towards development of health or disease, including IBD, later in life. We herein present a comprehensive summary of the interplay between early-life factors and microbiome perturbations, and their association with risk of IBD. In addition, we provide an overview of host and external factors in early life that are known to impact gut microbiome maturation and exposures implicated in IBD risk. Considering the emerging concept of IBD prevention, we propose strategies to minimise maternal and offspring exposure to potentially harmful variables and recommend protective measures during pregnancy and the postpartum period. This holistic view of early-life factors and microbiome signatures among mothers and their offspring will help frame our current understanding of their importance towards IBD pathogenesis and frame the roadmap for preventive strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)541-549
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - 12 Dec 2023


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