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This animal study found that maternal microbiome was specifically linked to immune activation through the production of a proinflammatory cytokine called IL-17a, which has also been linked to rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.

A growing body of evidence, both in animals and humans, has linked maternal immune activation with autism spectrum disorder. Mothers of children with autism are 5 times more likely to have circulation autoantibodies against fetal brain proteins.

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