While the maternal-newborn exchange of airway microbiota is well-documented, no studies have
examined within-subject relationships among the mouth, sinuses, nasopharynx and lungs and the
relative abundance of bacterial taxa at those sites. Recent evidence suggests the oral cavity
may serve as a reservoir for pathogens that translocate to non-oral locations;
oral-associated microbes infect most other body sites as evidence by 16S sequencing.
By using a combination of oral and throat swabs, together with nasal suction of mucus
samples, the investigators will use metagenomic sequencing to characterize the composition of
bacterial communities at each anatomical site. Beginning at birth, a time-series of swabs
will be collected from each subject, and monitor changes in the development of microbiota
over time. By doing so, our studies will illuminate airway trafficking of both beneficial and
pathogenic microbes and may represent an essential pathophysiological step towards shifting
the balance between airway health and disease.