About one in 10 babies is born prematurely. Most premature births are due either to infection or unknown causes. Recently scientists have started to think that mothers’ microbiomes – the bacteria that live, with no ill effects on and within us – contribute to premature births and in this article Lindsay A. Parnell, from Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, led a team of researchers looking into this issue. The researchers looked at the latest research on the links between premature birth and the bacteria in mothers’ intestines, vagina, cervixes and placentas and the article describes the most commonly-used ways of analysing people’s microbiomes.
You can read an abstract of this article here.