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Study to explore nasal bacteria of children born by C-section

Nov. 10, 2022, 8:54 AM


by Nancy Humphrey

The Center for Asthma Research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center is recruiting pregnant women scheduled to undergo a repeat cesarean section at VUMC for a study of potential interventions to change the bacteria living in the nose of children born by C-section.

To be eligible to participate in the MOdification Of THe Early-Life Respiratory Microbiome Through Vaginal SEEDing (MOTHER SEED) study, pregnant women must have a prior history of cesarean section and be planning to have general pediatric care for their child at one of the VUMC locations.

For the study, the child may be randomly assigned to receive an intervention called vaginal seeding, which involves swabbing the baby’s nose with the mother’s vaginal fluids soon after birth. The main purpose of the study is to evaluate if vaginal seeding of a child’s nose is a feasible and safe procedure. This is done to expose cesarean-born babies to the same bacteria they would have been exposed to at birth if they were born by vaginal delivery.

“Some studies have suggested that vaginal fluids could be a source of ‘good’ bacteria, which could help in the development of a child’s immune response — how a child’s body defends itself against infection or reacts against different exposures,” said Christian Rosas-Salazar, MD, MPH, assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonary Medicine and principal investigator of the study.

During the study, which will follow the mother and child through pregnancy until the child is 1 year old, the researchers will conduct surveys and gather information from the child’s and mother’s medical records and collect samples (blood, urine and vaginal) from the mother and nasal, stool and urine samples from the child at different time points.

Mothers will be compensated for their time and participation.

For more information, visit the website,, or contact the MOTHER SEED study team by emailing or calling 615-936-5552.

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