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J Appl Microbiol. 2003;95(3):471-8.

Inhibition of Staphylococcus aureus by the commensal bacteria of human milk.

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1
Department of Applied Chemistry and Microbiology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.

Abstract

AIMS:

To study the bacterial diversity in expressed human milk with a focus on detecting bacteria with an antimicrobial activity against Staphylococcus aureus, known as a causative agent of maternal breast infections and neonatal infections.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Random isolates (n = 509) were collected from breast milk samples (n = 40) of healthy lactating women, genotypically identified, and tested for antimicrobial activity against Staph. aureus. Commensal staphylococci (64%) and oral streptococci (30%), with Staph. epidermidis, Strep. salivarius, and Strep. mitis as the most frequent isolates, were the predominant bacterial species in breast milk. One-fifth of Staph. epidermidis and half of Strep. salivarius isolates suppressed growth of Staph. aureus. Enterococci (Ent. faecalis), isolated from 7.5% of samples, and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) (Lactobacillus rhamnosus, Lact. crispatus, Lactococcus lactis, Leuconoctoc mesenteroides), isolated from 12.5% of samples, were also effective against Staph. aureus. One L. lactis isolate was shown to produce nisin, a bacteriocin used in food industry to prevent bacterial pathogens and spoilage.

CONCLUSIONS:

Expressed breast milk contains commensal bacteria, which inhibit Staph. aureus.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The strains inhibitory against the pathogen Staph. aureus have potential use as bacteriotherapeutic agents in preventing neonatal and maternal breast infections caused by this bacterium.

PMID:
12911694
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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