The role of microbiome in determining pediatric health

Annamaria Staiano


The beneficial effects of food containing probiotics (or prebiotics or synbiotics) on human health – and in particular of dairy products such as yogurt and milk – are increasingly being promoted by food manufacturers, but also by health professionals. The human microbiome is composed of bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea and protozoa. Each body site has its own distinct microbiome, with a unique microbial composition that presumably reflects the differences in tissue structure and function. Shifts in the composition of the gastrointestinal microbiome have been linked to the development and progression of several intestinal and extra-intestinal diseases, including childhood asthma development and inflammatory bowel disease. Probiotics are advertised to contribute to overall well-being and are sought to prevent and alleviate many diseases, especially digestive, immunological and respiratory disorders. Modulating microbial exposure through probiotic supplementation represents a long-held strategy towards ameliorating disease via intestinal microbial community restructuring. Several recent human trials have demonstrated the potential for live biotherapeutic products in disease management and prevention, but larger, better controlled, and universally standardized studies are needed for the rigorous scientific evaluation of probiotic therapies and the comparison of diametric outcomes.


Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Neonatology · Cagliari (Italy) · October 22nd-25th, 2014 · The last ten years, the next ten years in Neonatology

Guest Editors: Vassilios Fanos, Michele Mussap, Gavino Faa, Apostolos Papageorgiou


microbiome; probiotics; Pediatrics; gastrointestinal tract; bacteria; dysbiosis

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