Our main scientific interests are the transmission and establishment of gut bacteria within a host population, in addition to host-bacterial coevolution. We have a particular focus on the role of mobile genetic elements and antibiotic resistance genes in these processes. We are also interested in using bacteria as indicators in environmental/health indexing. For more information on what we do, please visit the MiDiv Lab website.
UnveilMe – how does gut flora impact child development? (in Norwegian)
We are all exposed to billions of bacteria from the moment we are born, and through the birth process our gut flora is established. The diversity of bacteria in our gut is essential to carry out many important tasks, and it can affect our immune system and fat storage. The UnveilMe project will research how gut flora impacts child development. Our research is connected to a large international study, Preventing Atopic Dermatitis and ALLergies in Children (PreventADALL), which encompasses almost 2400 mother-child pairs from the general population.
Our main aim is to discover how a child's gut flora produces two essential fatty acids: propionic acid and butyric acid. Propionic acid is used to make sugar, while butyric acid is the most important energy source for adult intestinal cells. These fatty acids are ones which the body needs to absorb from the gut, and very little is available through diet. We also aim to discover to what extent the human gut flora plays a role in the childhood development of allergies.
For further reading, check out our article in The Lancet:
Skjerven, H.O., Rehbinder, E.M., Vettukattil, R., LeBlanc, M., Granum, B., Haugen, G., Hedlin, G., Landrø, L., Marsland, B.J., Rudi, K., et al. Skin emollient and early complementary feeding to prevent infant atopic dermatitis (PreventADALL): a factorial, multicentre, cluster-randomised trial. (2020). The Lancet, 395: 10228, 951–961. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(19)32983-6