Gut microbial ecology and function are dynamic in infancy, but are stabilized in childhood. The ‘new friends’ have a great impact on the development of the digestive tract and host immune system. In the first year of life, especially, the gut microbiota dramatically changes through interactions with the developing immune system in the gut. The process of establishing the gut microbiota is affected by various environmental factors, with the potential to be a main determinant of life-long health. In this review, we summarize recent findings regarding gut microbiota establishment, including the importance of various factors related to the development of the immune system and allergic diseases later in life.
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