Human immune system development

Bifidobacteria-mediated immune system imprinting early in life

Immune-microbe interactions early in life influence the risk of allergies, asthma and other immune-mediated diseases. Breastfeeding guide healthier immune-microbe relationships by providing nutrients to specialized microbes that in turn benefit the host’s immune system. Such bacteria have co-evolved with humans but are now increasingly rare in modern societies. Here we show that a lack of bifidobacteria, and in particular depletion of genes required for human milk oligosaccharide (HMO) utilization from the metagenome is associated with systemic inflammation and immune dysregulation early in life (Henrick et al, BioRxiv, 2020).

Born-Immune cohort information

Stereotypic Immune System Development in Newborn Children

Newborn Immune systems are shaped by environmental influences early in life. Drastic changes in immune cells and proteins occur similarly over time after birth in preterm and term children (Olin et al, Cell 2018).

Olin et al, Cell, 2018

Available datasets: 
1. 16S rRNA microbiome data 

2. Mass Cytometry data

3. Processed data (batch corrected plasma protein data), gated cell population frequencies and OTU-table from 16S rRNA microbiome data


The repertoire of maternal anti-viral antibodies in human newborns

Passive immunity mediated by maternal IgG antibodies actively transferred across the placenta offers important protection to human newborns. We have used the recently developed VirScan method (Xu et al, Science, 2015) to profile maternal IgG antibodies against ~94,000 viral peptides from over 1200 virus strains, in the plasma of 78 mother-child dyads. We find that preterm and term newborns have more similar repertoires of maternal IgG than previously believed.

Pou et al, Nature Medicine, 2019