Maternal-Child Microbiome and Impact on Growth and Neurodevelopment in Infants and Children: A Scoping Review

Therese Mathews, Shivdeep S. Hayer, Danae Dinkel, Alyson Hanish, Katrina M. Poppert Cordts, Heather Rasmussen, Tiffany Moore

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Pathologic changes in the microbiome (dysbiosis) have been implicated in affecting the growth and neurodevelopment of infants and children. There is evidence to suggest that prenatal and postnatal stressors may be a factor in dysbiosis and there is also a growing body of evidence to suggest that interventions may reduce this negative impact. A scoping review was undertaken to identify association between maternal and/or child microbiome with child growth and neurodevelopment. Additionally, intervention studies such as use of nutritional supplementation and its impact on the microbiome, growth and neurodevelopment were reviewed. Methods: An exhaustive literature search identified 654 relevant citations. After review of abstracts, 557 were eliminated, and 97 remained for full text review. We identified and reported on 42 articles which met inclusion criteria. Results: Seven studies examined associations between microbiome and neurodevelopment and 36 studies evaluated anthropometric measurements, most commonly weight, and microbiota relationships. One study evaluated both growth and neurodevelopment and microbiota. Fourteen studies evaluated supplemental nutrients. Preterm, low birth weight (LBW), and very low birth weight (VLBW) infants were most studied. Findings were inconclusive for consistent associations between microbiota and growth and neurodevelopment. Further, there were no consistent conclusive changes with prescribed treatment interventions. Discussion: There is a need for high-quality longitudinal studies evaluating repeated developmental assessment measures using consistent microbial analysis techniques to inform conclusions regarding the association between microbiome and infant and child growth and neurodevelopment. Additional intervention studies that may mitigate dysbiosis are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)454-468
Number of pages15
JournalBiological Research for Nursing
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • anthropometric changes
  • maternal-child
  • microbiome
  • neurodevelopment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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