- 2017 Microbirth Online Course by Toni Harman & Alex Wakefield based on evidence from SyMBIOTA research, accredited by American College of Nurses-Midwives
- SyMBIOTA research highlighted in Nature Outlook article “Microbiome: Puppy power”, featuring interviews with Dr Kozyrskyj and post-doctoral fellow Dr. Hein Min Tun
- SyMBIOTA research featured in a new book “The Microbiome Effect”, a followup to the documentary “Microbith” featuring an interview with Dr Kozyrskyj
- SyMBIOTA and CHILD research contributes to the new Food Allergy report from the US National Academies
- Postdoctoral position in microbiome research availble with SyMBIOTA
- TIME Magazine features SyMBIOTA research
- New BJOG paper on the impact of maternal intrapartum antibiotics on infant gut microbiota
- Maclean’s article features SyMBIOTA research
- SyMBIOTA researchers contribute to “Editor’s Choice” publication on infant gut bacteria and food sensitization
- SyMBIOTA team wins publication award for paper’s relevance to clinical practice
SyMBIOTA (Synergy in Microbiota Research)
The intestinal microbiota, the “good bacteria,” in the infant’s gut play a crucial role in the maturation of the immune system. Alteration of microbiota during early life has the potential to cause disease later in childhood, as evidenced by reduced levels of bifidobacteria and increased levels of C. difficile in the microbiota of infants that develop atopic disease (allergy and asthma) as children. Thus, understanding the environmental determinants of infant microbiota is an important priority in child health research.
The goal of the SyMBIOTA program is to investigate these environmental determinants.
The two main objectives of the program are to determine:
- if antibiotic use during infancy alters intestinal microbiota (and whether this effect is synergistic with mode of delivery and infant diet); and
- whether antibiotic-induced disruption of infant gut microbiota is associated with the development of atopic and metabolic disease in children.
SyMBIOTA employs AllerGen’s Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study as a research platform. For this sub-study, mode of delivery and infant exposures during the birth will be extracted from hospital records. Maternal exposures during pregnancy and type of infant feeding will be obtained from parent report.
SyMBIOTA also taps into detailed account of antibiotic prescription obtained from provincial database records. Microbiota profiles (generated via high throughput signature gene sequencing analysis of fecal samples at birth, 3 months and 1 year) are being determined in the University of Toronto laboratories of SyMBIOTA collaborators.
Anita Kozyrskyj is Professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.
James Scott is an Associate Professor and Division Head in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Division of Occupational & Environmental Health at the University of Toronto, situated in the Gage Occupational & Environmental Health Unit (GOEHU). He is head of the School’s Scott Laboratory.
See his University of Toronto profile.