The Microbiome during the first 1000 days of life

During gestation the female body undergoes hormonal, metabolic, and immunological changes such as an increase in body fat early in pregnancy followed by reduced insulin sensitivity later in gestation. Pregnancy progression is also associated with dramatic alterations in the composition of the gut and vaginal microbiotas. The vaginal microbiota of pregnant women is characterized with a decrease in bacterial diversity which is also seen in the gut microbiota as pregnancy progresses. In the gut, the lower diversity is accompanied by an increase in the relative abundance of Proteobacteria and opportunistic pathogens. Germfree mice inoculated with gut microbiota from pregnant women presented metabolic changes mirroring those of the pregnant women. 

We are now at the point of trying to understand whether these changes in community structure are a cause or consequence of some of the characteristics of pregnancy. It will be interesting to determine whether pregnancy associated microbiota alterations are required for a healthy pregnancy and whether pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes are associated with dysbiosis?

In addition, we are studying how perturbations in infancy, such as use of antibiotics, influence the infant microbiome.


  1. Janine Van der Giessen J*, Binyamin D*, Belogolovski A, Frishman S, Tenenbaum-Gavish K, Hadar E, Louzoun Y, Peppelenbosch MP, van der Woude CJ, Koren O*, Fuhler GM*. Modulation of cytokine patterns and microbiome during pregnancy in IBD. Gut. 2020, 69(3):473-486

  2. Marta Calatayud, Omry Koren, Maria Carmen Collado. Maternal Microbiome and Metabolic Health Program Microbiome Development and Health of the Offspring. Trends Endocrinol Metab. 2019, 30(10):735-744

  3. Nuriel-Ohayon M, Neuman H, Ziv O, Belogolovski A, Barsheshet Y, Bloch N, Uzan A, Lahav R, Peretz A, Frishman S, Hod M, Hadar E, Louzoun Y, Avni O, Koren O. Progesterone Increases Bifidobacterium Relative Abundance during Late Pregnancy. Cell Rep. 2019, 27(3):730-736.e3

  4. Neuman H, Forsythe P, Uzan A, Avni O* & OKoren* Antibiotics in early life: dysbiosis and the damage done. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 2018, 42(4): 489-499.

  5. Neuman H & O Koren. The pregnancy microbiome. Nestle Nutrition Institute Workshop Series. 2017, 88:1-9.

  6. Nuriel-Ohayon M, Neuman H & O Koren. Microbial changes during pregnancy, birth and infancy. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2016, 7:1031.

  7. Kuperman A & O Koren. Antibiotics during Pregnancy: How bad is it? BMC Medicine. 2016, 14(1): 91.

  8. Neuman H,  Debelius, JW, Knight, R and O Koren. Microbial endocrinology: the interplay between microbiota and the endocrine system. FEMS Microbiology Reviews. 2015, 39(4): 509-521.

  9. Koren O, Goodrich JK, Cullender TC, Spor A, Laitinen K, Backhed H, Gonzalez A, Werner JJ, Angenent LT, Knight R, Backhed F, Isolauri E, Salminen S and RE Ley. Host remodeling of the gut microbiome and metabolic changes during pregnancy. Cell. 2012, 150(3), 470-480.


Skip to content