Gut microbiota in preterm infants - why the research interest?
The human body plays host to millions and millions of bacteria (the 'microbiome') which outnumber human cells 10:1. The most critical time in our life when microbes are acquired is at birth. Disturbances to the normal pattern of colonization may relate to a range of diseases in later life such as obesity and heart disease.
Here is a slide show from a recent public engagement session, giving a very brief overview of why gut bacteria are important, especially in premature babies.