The study will attempt to understand how the first 1000 days of life impact health and wellbeing into adulthood and researchers will work on several trials targeting different health issues, including studying the microbiome of families.
Elucidating about the study Professor Craig Pennell, Director, Chair in Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Professor in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Newcastle, said the microbiome – microorganisms which live on and inside us– played a central role in health and disease.
“During pregnancy, a woman’s gut microbiome undergoes substantial changes that can influence weight gain and insulin insensitivity. Additionally, alterations in maternal microbiome composition have now been linked to important pregnancy health conditions such as preterm birth, fetal growth restriction, gestational diabetes, and preeclampsia. These health conditions can have a lasting effect on both maternal and infant health,” Professor Pennell said.
Using the NEW1000 Family Study, researchers will investigate the role of the microbiome in the developmental origins of health and disease. Samples from both mothers and fathers will be collected to see how their profiles influence their child’s developing microbiome.
The study will use Microba’s highly reliable microbiome sample collection device to capture stool samples from the cohort of mothers, fathers, and babies.
Once collected, Microba will undertake high-resolution metagenomic sequencing of the gut microbiome throughout the study phases, using their optimised sample processing workflow to comprehensively profile participants’ gut microbiome.
Head of Research Partnerships at Microba, Dr Kylie Ellis, explained that the company’s robust technologies for sample collection and sequencing were critical for establishing high-quality data and generating meaningful findings.
“This study is exciting for us and Australian research as it will help us to understand influences on early life development that can be monitored and targeted to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies throughout their life course,” Dr Ellis said.
“Microba is delighted to enable this high-quality research in an area of critical importance.”
The first phase will include 750 families, ramping up to 1000 families each year for more than five years. There will be six samples per family – two from mum, one from dad, and three from the child.
Professor Pennell said the study aimed to set children most at-risk of chronic disease on a life trajectory of health.
“Imagine if you could predict adult disease early and then use precise interventions to put people on trajectories to health rather than a disease?” he informed.
NEW1000 will unite research groups, universities, organisations, institutions, and the community to achieve this goal and improve the health of future generations.
According to researchers, the study is conducted to understand how the first 1000 days of life can profoundly impact health and wellbeing and identifying how precision medicine can improve lifetime health trajectories. The study is set to investigate several conditions including high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, restricted growth, or preterm birth, asthma, allergies, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, neurodevelopmental, and mental health outcomes.