Early microbial contact and child health

​Description of research

The general aim of my research projects is to elucidate the significance of early microbial contact and its disturbances on child health and to discover means to reduce the risk of adverse health outcomes - preterm birth and its consequences, development of obesity and chronic non-communicable disease - by modulating
microbial contact during pregnancy, delivery and early infancy. The specific aims pertain to 1) supporting gut microbiota development in preterm infants, 2) investigating the impact of perinatal antibiotic exposure on gut microbiota development and subsequent health and 3) prediction and prevention of preterm birth.

Research projects

  • Early microbial contact in infants at risk of aberrant compositional development of gut microbiota
  • Early antibiotic exposure, gut microbiota and risk of disease
  • Gut microbiota and preterm birth - from prediction to prevention

Members of the research group

Registered doctoral candidates
Essi Kainonen, MD
Henriina Hermansson, MD
Olli Turta, MD
Anastasia Manziari, MSc
Henni Hiltunen, MB

Research nurse
Sari Laksio, RN

Selected publications

Rautava S, Collado MC, Salminen S, Isolauri E. Probiotics modulate host-microbe interaction in the placenta and fetal gut: a double-blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial. Neonatology 2012;102:178-84. IF 2.754

Rautava S, Kainonen E, Salminen S, Isolauri E. Maternal probiotic supplementation during pregnancy and breastfeeding reduces the risk of eczema in the infant. J Allergy Clin Immunol 2012;130:1355-1360. IF 12.485

Ganguli K, Collado MC, Rautava J, Lu L, Satokari R, von Ossowski I, Reunanen J, de Vos WM, Palva A, Isolauri E, Salminen S, Walker WA, Rautava S. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG and its SpaC pilus adhesin modulate inflammatory responsiveness and TLR-related gene expression in the fetal human gut. Pediatr Res 2015;77:528-35. IF 2.761

Collado MC*, Rautava S*, Aakko J, Isolauri E, Salminen S. Human gut colonisation may be initiated in utero by distinct microbial communities in the placenta and amniotic fluid. Scientific Reports 2016;6:23129.*equal contribution IF 5.228

Rautava S, Luoto R, Salminen S, Isolauri E. Microbial contact during pregnancy, intestinal colonization and human disease. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol 2012;9:565-76. IF 14.435


 Samuli Rautava