Role of early-life gut microbiota in colonisation resistance development


  • Dr Lindsay Hall

    University of East Anglia

Project summary

Complex microbial communities (microbiota) colonise the body after birth. These beneficial bacteria shape immune defence, limiting infection by gut pathogens through a process of colonisation resistance. However, disturbances such as caesarian sections and antibiotic exposure in early colonisation events can lead to increased susceptibility to pathogens, as well as allergic and chronic inflammatory diseases in later life. Dr Hall will work on building our knowledge of the contribution of specific bacterial species during early-life development, and how microbiota disturbances increase susceptibility to gut infection, focusing on bifidobacteria. The goals are to understand the effects of bifidobacteria on critical colonisation resistance, the impacts of antibiotic-induced disturbances, and the potential for restoring a disturbed early-life microbiota to control gut infection, for use in infectious-disease settings.