Hormonal changes during pregnancy instigate numerous physiological changes aimed at the growth and delivery of a healthy baby. A careful balance between immunological tolerance against fetal antigens and immunity against infectious agents needs to be maintained. A three-way interaction between pregnancy hormones, the immune system and our microbiota is now emerging. Recent evidence suggests that microbial alterations seen during pregnancy may help maintain homeostasis and aid the required physiological changes occurring in pregnancy. However, these same immunological and microbial alterations may also make women more vulnerable during pregnancy and the post-partum period, especially regarding immunological and infectious diseases. Thus, a further understanding of the host-microbial interactions taking place during pregnancy may improve identification of populations at risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes.

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Keywords Gestational diabetes mellitus, Infection, Inflammatory bowel disease, Intestinal microbiome, Pregnancy, Th subsets, Tolerance, Vaginal microbiome
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpg.2020.101671, hdl.handle.net/1765/125560
Journal Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology
Citation
Fuhler, G.M. (2020). The immune system and microbiome in pregnancy. Best Practice and Research in Clinical Gastroenterology. doi:10.1016/j.bpg.2020.101671