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Challenges 2018, 9(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/challe9020043

Sanitization of Early Life and Microbial Dysbiosis

1
Department of Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G2R3, Canada
2
Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G2R3, Canada
3
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G2R3, Canada
4
School of Public Health, University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB T6G2R3, Canada
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 14 December 2018 / Accepted: 14 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
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Abstract

Childbearing and infant care practices have dramatically evolved since the 15th century. Shifting away from traditional home-based experiences, with the emergence of the microbial aware era and the hospital as a quintessential sanitizing machine, early life has now long been characterized as a condition to be medically managed. Paradoxically, this ‘germ-free’ march towards a healthier early life environment has opened the door to greater microbial susceptibility and dysbiosis. Many studies have now established that infant exposure to excessive sanitation and hygiene regimens are associated with an increased risk for and onset of childhood immune system diseases. In this paper, we explore the ways in which biomedical-centered efforts to enhance early life have come at a cost to planetary health, in relation to infant microbial succession. We examine three major areas of early life that have been subject to the ‘ripple effect’ of hygiene and sanitation concerns—childbirth, home environment, and breastfeeding. View Full-Text
Keywords: antibiotics; birth; breastfeeding; caesarean section; cleaning products; microbial succession; planetary health; sanitation antibiotics; birth; breastfeeding; caesarean section; cleaning products; microbial succession; planetary health; sanitation
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Jun, S.; Drall, K.; Matenchuk, B.; McLean, C.; Nielsen, C.; Obiakor, C.V.; Van der Leek, A.; Kozyrskyj, A. Sanitization of Early Life and Microbial Dysbiosis. Challenges 2018, 9, 43.

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