New research suggests that a yeast in the gut of Ecuador-born babies may be a strong predictor for childhood asthma. The study was carried out by a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia in Canada and was led by microbiologist Brett Finlay.

The findings were presented at the annual meeting for Association for the Advancement of Science in Boston, MA.

Using stool samples and health information from more than 100 children, scientists found that the gut’s bacteria do play a key role in preventing asthma. However, among the early-life microbes, a yeast known as Pichia seems to increase the risk of asthma if present in the babies’ early days of life.