Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Access Thesis

Degree Name

MS in Physician Assistant Studies (PA)


Physician Assistant Studies

First Advisor

Amanda Perkins


Approximately 1/3 of births worldwide are by cesarean section. Many of these procedures are done because of parental elective request rather than an implicated medical reason. The prevalence of immune-mediated disorders like asthma and allergies continues to rise worldwide. There has been research indicating that cesarean section may alter the gut microbiota, delay the immune response in newborns, and increase the risk of cesarean section children getting asthma and allergies. The aims of this paper were to synthesize and connect the impact that cesarean sections have on the gut microbiota and immune systems in newborns and how it affects the development of asthma and allergies by evaluating information and results from previous reputable studies done. The information for this paper was found through word searches in PubMed, Google Scholar, and UpToDate evaluating studies. The results conclusively showed that delivery by cesarean section does alter the gut microbiota with lower levels of bifidobacteria, lactobacillus, and Bacteroides found in these newborns. Additionally, research has found that cesarean section alters immune response with lower levels of Th1-associated chemokines and differences in blood biomarkers in CS newborns. Data further revealed a linkage with cesarean section to asthma and allergy development. Mothers should be informed of long term risks from cesarean section and when cesarean section is deemed medically necessary, mothers should be educated on breastfeeding, skin-to-skin time, and probiotics to try to create a microbiota similar to one of a vaginal delivery.