Dr. Anita Kozyrskyj

Anita Kozyrskyj, PhD


Department of Pediatrics
3-527 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
780-248-5626 (fax)


  • PhD (Community Health Sciences), University of Manitoba, 2000
  • MSc (Community Health Sciences), University of Manitoba, 1996
  • BSc (Hons) (Pharmacy), University of Toronto, 1984

Research Interests

I am interested in epidemiological research using population-based birth cohort studies with linkage to existing healthcare databases. My current research interests focus on early life programming of childhood atopic disease and overweight, as influenced by birth method, infant diet and antibiotic use during pregnancy, birth and infancy. I am the PI of SyMBIOTA (Synergy in Microbiota) research program, one of the seven CIHR-funded Canadian Microbiome Initiative teams. The SyMBIOTA program, which derives its data from the 4-site CHILD (Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development) pregnancy cohort study, aims to investigate pre- and postnatal influences on infant gut microbiota and their connection to the development of atopy and overweight.

Highlighted Publications (from last 5 years)

  1. Azad MB, Chan-Yeung M, Chan ES, Dytnerski AM, Kozyrskyj AL, Ramsey C, Becker AB. Wheezing Patterns in Early Childhood and the Risk of Respiratory and Allergic Disease in Adolescence. JAMA Pediatr. 2016; 170(4):393-5
  2. Azad MB , Konya T , Persaud RR , Guttman DS , Chari RS , Field CJ , Sears MR , Mandhane PJ , Turvey SE , Subbarao P , Becker AB , Scott JA , Kozyrskyj AL , CHILD Study Investigators. Impact of maternal intrapartum antibiotics, method of birth and breastfeeding on gut microbiota during the first year of life: a prospective cohort study.BJOG : an international journal of obstetrics and gynaecology. 2016; 123(6): 983-993.
  3. West CE, Jenmalm MC, Kozyrskyj AL, Prescott SL. Probiotics for treatment and primary prevention of allergic diseases and asthma: looking back and moving forward. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2016 Mar 4:1-15.
  4. Bridgman SL , Konya T , Azad MB , Guttman DS , Sears MR , Becker AB , Turvey SE , Mandhane PJ , Subbarao P , CHILD Study Investigators , Scott JA , Field CJ , Kozyrskyj AL. High fecal IgA is associated with reduced Clostridium difficile colonization in infants.Microbes and infection. 2016;18(9):543-9
  5. Bridgman SL, Kozyrskyj AL, Scott JA, Becker AB, Azad MB. Gut microbiota and allergic disease in children. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2016 Feb;116(2):99-105
  6. Bridgman SL, Konya T, Azad MB, Sears MR, Becker AB, Turvey SE, Mandhane PJ, Subbarao P, Scott JA, Field CJ, Kozyrskyj AL. Infant gut immunity: a preliminary study of IgA associations with breastfeeding. J Dev Orig Health Dis 2016 Feb;7(1):68-72.
  7. Kozyrskyj AL, Kalu R, Koleva PT, Bridgman SL. Fetal programming of overweight through the microbiome: boys are disproportionately affected. J Dev Orig Health Dis 2016 Feb;7(1):25-34.
  8. Alton ME, Zeng Y, Tough SC, Mandhane PJ, Kozyrskyj AL. Postpartum depression, a direct and mediating risk factor for preschool wheeze in girls. Pediatr Pulmonol 2015 Oct 8;10.
  9. Azad MB, Konya T, Guttman DS, Field CJ, Sears MR, HayGlass KT, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Subbarao P, Becker AB, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL. Infant gut microbiota and food sensitization: associations in the first year of life. Clin Exp Allergy 2015 Mar;45(3):632-43.
  10. Giallo R, Bahreinian S, Brown S, Cooklin A, Kingston D, Kozyrskyj A. Maternal depressive symptoms across early childhood and asthma in school children: findings from a Longitudinal Australian Population Based Study. PLoS One 2015 Mar 26;10(3):e0121459.
  11. Koleva PT, Bridgman SL, Kozyrskyj AL. The infant gut microbiome: evidence for obesity risk and dietary intervention. Nutrients 2015 Mar 31;7(4):2237-60.
  12. Koleva PT, Kim JS, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL. Microbial programming of health and disease starts during fetal life. Birth Defects Res C Embryo Today 2015 Dec 10;10.
  13. Kozyrskyj AL. Can we predict future allergies from our infant gut microbiota? Expert Rev Respir Med 2015 Dec;9(6):667-70.
  14. Persaud RR, Azad MB, Chari RS, Sears MR, Becker AB, Kozyrskyj AL. Perinatal antibiotic exposure of neonates in Canada and associated risk factors: a population-based study. J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med 2015 Jul;28(10):1190-5.
  15. Subbarao P, Anand SS, Becker AB, Befus AD, Brauer M, Brook JR, Denburg JA, HayGlass KT, Kobor MS, Kollmann TR, Kozyrskyj AL, Lou WY, Mandhane PJ, Miller GE, Moraes TJ, Pare PD, Scott JA, Takaro TK, Turvey SE, Duncan JM, Lefebvre DL, Sears MR. The Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study: examining developmental origins of allergy and asthma. Thorax 2015 Oct;70(10):998-1000.
  16. Azad MB, Bridgman SL, Becker AB, Kozyrskyj AL. Infant antibiotic exposure and the development of childhood overweight and central adiposity. Int J Obes (Lond) 2014 Oct;38(10):1290-8.
  17. Bridgman SL, Azad MB, Field CJ, Letourneau N, Johnston DW, Kaplan BJ, Kozyrskyj AL. Maternal perspectives on the use of probiotics in infants: a cross-sectional survey. BMC Complement Altern Med 2014 Sep 29;14:366. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-366.:366-14.
  18. Konya T, Koster B, Maughan H, Escobar M, Azad MB, Guttman DS, Sears MR, Becker AB, Brook JR, Takaro TK, Kozyrskyj AL, Scott JA. Associations between bacterial communities of house dust and infant gut. Environ Res 2014 May;131:25-30. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2014.02.005. Epub;%2014 Mar 15.:25-30.
  19. Azad MB, Becker AB, Kozyrskyj AL. Association of maternal diabetes and child asthma. Pediatr Pulmonol 2013 Jun;48(6):545-52.
  20. Azad MB, Konya T, Maughan H, Guttman DS, Field CJ, Sears MR, Becker AB, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL. Infant gut microbiota and the hygiene hypothesis of allergic disease: impact of household pets and siblings on microbiota composition and diversity. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol 2013 Apr 22;9(1):15-9.
  21. Azad MB, Becker AB, Guttman DS, Sears MR, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL. Gut microbiota diversity and atopic disease: does breast-feeding play a role? J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013 Jan;131(1):247-8.
  22. Azad MB, Konya T, Maughan H, Guttman DS, Field CJ, Chari RS, Sears MR, Becker AB, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL. Gut microbiota of healthy Canadian infants: profiles by mode of delivery and infant diet at 4 months. CMAJ 2013 Mar;%19;185(5):385-94.
  23. Azad MB, Coneys JG, Kozyrskyj AL, Field CJ, Ramsey CD, Becker AB, Friesen C, Abou-Setta AM, Zarychanski R. Probiotic supplementation during pregnancy or infancy for the prevention of asthma and wheeze: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2013 Dec 4;347:f6471. doi: 10.1136/bmj.f6471.:f6471.
  24. Bahreinian S, Ball GD, Vander Leek TK, Colman I, McNeil BJ, Becker AB, Kozyrskyj AL. Allostatic load biomarkers and asthma in adolescents. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013 Jan 15;187(2):144-52.
  25. Kozyrskyj AL, Pawlowski AN. Maternal distress and childhood wheeze: mechanisms and context. Am J Respir Crit Care Med 2013 Jun 1;187(11):1160-2.
  26. Azad MB, Kozyrskyj AL. Perinatal programming of asthma: the role of gut microbiota. Clin Dev Immunol 2012;2012:932072.


  • University of Alberta Academic Faculty Research Paper Award, 2016 
  • Canadian Medical Association Journal Bruce Squires Award: The Most Influential Paper in 2014, 2014
  • Research Chair Distinction, Womens and Children's Health Research Institute, 2008
  • New Investigator Research award, Canadian Institutes for Health Research, 2003

Current Sources of Funding

Cesarean section: impact on infant gut microbiota, childhood obesity and allergic disease $535,000
Principal Investigator
Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research

Synergy in Microbiota Research (SyMBIOTA) $2,485,422
Co-Principal Investigator
Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research Team Grant Program

Allergy Brain Connection Research Program $150,000
Principal Investigator
Funded by Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE)

Current Research Personnel

  • Research Coordinator
    • Sarah Bridgman
  • Postdoctoral Fellow
    • Hein Min Tun
  • Graduate Student
    • Mon Tun
    • Liane Kang
    • Usha Rai