Along with other journals, we have published a number of articles recently on the role of the microbiome as a possible factor in the cause of various pediatric conditions. This week, we are publishing a multicenter prospective study by Hasegawa et al. (peds.2016-0218) that identifies microbiota profiles from fecal samples in children with bronchiolitis compared to age-matched similar controls. Four different profiles of organisms are identified and then compared with each other with a bacteroides-dominant profile being associated with the greatest likelihood of having bronchiolitis.
While causality cannot be derived from the data presented in this cross-sectional look at the microbial flora of the gut in bronchiolitis patients, the implications of changing the flora and potentially preventing a common respiratory viral illness from occurring are certainly thought-provoking. It is for this reason that we have asked Dr. Patrick Seed, an expert in the field of the microbial ecology, to share his perspective on this study and its implications. (peds.2016-1377) If you haven’t recognized the import of the microbiome in influencing wellness and disease in all of us, you should do a gut-check on yourself and then read both this study and the commentary to learn more.