Longitudinal quantification of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis reveals late colonization in the infant gut independent of maternal milk HMO composition

Dena Ennis, Shimrit Shmorak, Evelyn Jantscher-Krenn, Moran Yassour*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Breast milk contains human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) that cannot be digested by infants, yet nourish their developing gut microbiome. While Bifidobacterium are the best-known utilizers of individual HMOs, a longitudinal study examining the evolving microbial community at high-resolution coupled with mothers’ milk HMO composition is lacking. Here, we developed a high-throughput method to quantify Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (BL. infantis), a proficient HMO-utilizer, and applied it to a longitudinal cohort consisting of 21 mother-infant dyads. We observed substantial changes in the infant gut microbiome over the course of several months, while the HMO composition in mothers’ milk remained relatively stable. Although Bifidobacterium species significantly influenced sample variation, no specific HMOs correlated with Bifidobacterium species abundance. Surprisingly, we found that BL. infantis colonization began late in the breastfeeding period both in our cohort and in other geographic locations, highlighting the importance of focusing on BL. infantis dynamics in the infant gut.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number894
JournalNature Communications
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 30 Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024, The Author(s).

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