Microbial colonization of the infant gut begins during pregnancy and continues rapidly after birth until 2 to 3 years of age. The gut microbiota is now recognized as a virtual organ with effects that extend well beyond the gastrointestinal tract to help shape the immune system and the developing brain. As a result of these new understandings, the role of prebiotics and probiotics in human health in general, and neonatal and infant health in particular, is advancing into a new era of recognition and appreciation, sparked by ongoing research and clinical experience.
To help practicing clinicians keep up with the pace of informational change in this important area, the activities in this educational series will examine the pivotal role of the microbiome and gut microbiota in neonatal health and development; describe the ways in which understanding of the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is evolving and the implications of this new information for prevention and treatment; and explore the use of prebiotics and probiotics in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) combining the latest research findings with practical experience. The curriculum will also review the latest guidelines and recommendations from professional associations on the use of prebiotics and probiotics in neonatal and infant nutrition.
This educational activity provides an in-depth review of the pivotal role of gut microbiota in neonatal health and development. Rationale for the use of prebiotics and probiotics in the NICU are provided, combining the latest research findings with practical experience. The activity will also describe key points from the latest guidelines and recommendations from professional associations
This case study examines best practices for a preterm, very-low-birthweight infant with suspected NEC. Strategies for examining and addressing the patient’s nutritional needs and responses every step of the way—from birth to discharge home—will be explored.
In this audio-based activity, a leading expert in the optimal care of preterm infants provides a quick refresher on the special nutritional needs of preterm infants, and the role of prebiotics and probiotics in preventing disease and promoting long-term health.
Join 2 leading experts for an in-depth discussion of how the assembly of microbial communities within the gastrointestinal tract during early life critically influences immune, metabolic, endocrine, and other key developmental pathways.
This lively discussion will feature 2 clinical experts as they review the signs and symptoms of NEC, and explore the latest interventions for the prevention and treatment of this potentially devastating disease.
Learn more about how probiotic and prebiotic supplementation for preterm infants has provided new opportunities−as well as some challenges−for clinicians involved in the care of infants in the NICU.
Clinical leaders in neonatal health care discuss evidence-based recommendations for the use of prebiotics and probiotics in infant nutrition, as well as evolving guidelines and ongoing research.
Clinical Tools and Resources
Parent/Caregiver Education and Support
Mark A. Underwood, MD (Chair)
Professor of Pediatrics
Chief, Division of Neonatology
UC Davis School of Medicine
David Adamkin, MD
Department of Pediatrics
University of Louisville
Michael Caplan, MD
Clinical Professor of Pediatrics
University of Chicago
Pritzker School of Medicine
Northshore University Health
Ravi Patel, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
Emory University School of Medicine
John M. Rosen, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics
University of Missouri-Kansas City
School of Medicine
Kansas City, MO
Philip M. Sherman MD, FRCPC
Professor of Paediatrics,
Hospital for Sick Children
University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Roger F. Soll, MD
H. Wallace Professor of Neonatology
Research Director, Neonatal-
Medicine Fellowship Program
University of Vermont College of