New York: Where and how a baby is born might affect its chances of getting allergies and asthma growing up, suggests a new study.Researchers found that babies were more likely to harbor a certain kind of bacteria in their intestines if they were born in the hospital, and especially by cesarean section -- and those gut bugs were tied to a kid`s chances of later getting allergies or asthma."Our message is not that mode nor place of delivery (decisions) should be based on the potential risks on developing allergic diseases," study author John Penders, from Maastricht University in the Netherlands said.But, researchers said, it`s one more topic to add to a growing list of potential culprits behind the recent increase in asthma and allergies in kids.The study included about 2,700 babies who were followed until they were seven years old.One month after birth, the researchers tested fecal samples from infants, looking to see whether their intestines were hosting a few specific species of bacteria, such as Escherichia coli and Clostridium difficile.When kids were older, Penders` team asked parents to report how often the children wheezed and needed asthma medications, and whether they had recently had an itchy rash called eczema. Kids also got blood tests to see if they had warning signs of food or pet allergies.The researchers found that C. difficile, a type of bacteria known to spread in hospitals, was most commonly seen in the intestines of babies born by cesarean section. Forty-three percent of them harbored C. difficile in their feces, compared to 27 percent of babies born vaginally in the hospital and 19 percent of those born at home.Researchers said that while babies born vaginally get their first gut bacteria from their moms -- in the birth canal and through other direct contacts -- C-section babies are first exposed to bacteria on doctors` and nurses` skin, or from other places in the delivery room.
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