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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Aug;77(15):5316-23. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00365-11. Epub 2011 Jun 3.

Influence of environmental and genetic factors linked to celiac disease risk on infant gut colonization by Bacteroides species.

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  • 1Ecofisiología Microbiana y Nutrición, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (CSIC), Avda. Agustín Escardino 7, 46980 Paterna, Valencia, Spain.


Celiac disease (CD) is an immune-mediated enteropathy involving genetic and environmental factors whose interaction might influence disease risk. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of milk-feeding practices and the HLA-DQ genotype on intestinal colonization of Bacteroides species in infants at risk of CD development. This study included 75 full-term newborns with at least one first-degree relative suffering from CD. Infants were classified according to milk-feeding practice (breast-feeding or formula feeding) and HLA-DQ genotype (high or low genetic risk). Stools were analyzed at 7 days, 1 month, and 4 months by PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). The Bacteroides species diversity index was higher in formula-fed infants than in breast-fed infants. Breast-fed infants showed a higher prevalence of Bacteroides uniformis at 1 and 4 months of age, while formula-fed infants had a higher prevalence of B. intestinalis at all sampling times, of B. caccae at 7 days and 4 months, and of B. plebeius at 4 months. Infants with high genetic risk showed a higher prevalence of B. vulgatus, while those with low genetic risk showed a higher prevalence of B. ovatus, B. plebeius, and B. uniformis. Among breast-fed infants, the prevalence of B. uniformis was higher in those with low genetic risk than in those with high genetic risk. Among formula-fed infants, the prevalence of B. ovatus and B. plebeius was increased in those with low genetic risk, while the prevalence of B. vulgatus was higher in those with high genetic risk. The results indicate that both the type of milk feeding and the HLA-DQ genotype influence the colonization process of Bacteroides species, and possibly the disease risk.

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