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J Hum Lact. 2012 Feb;28(1):36-44. doi: 10.1177/0890334411424729.

Sharing of bacterial strains between breast milk and infant feces.

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Department of Nutrición, Bromatología y Tecn. Alimentos, UCM.


In previous years, it has been shown that human milk is a potential source of bacteria for the infant gut. The results of this work confirm the presence of the same specific bacterial strains of Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, and Staphylococcus in breast milk and infant fecal samples. The identity of bacteria isolated from breast milk and infant feces from 20 mother-infant pairs was investigated at the strain level. DNA from Staphylococcus, Lactobacillus, and Bifidobacterium was detected by qRTi-PCR in nearly all samples analyzed. These samples were cultured on different agar media. One colony representative of each morphology was selected and identified at the species level combining classical tests and molecular techniques (PCR, RAPD, PFGE, and/or MLST genotyping). Breast milk and infant feces from 19 mother-infant pairs shared different Staphylococcus, Lactobacillus, and/or Bifidobacterium species and strains. Significantly, 2 mother-infant pairs shared 4 bacterial strains although most pairs shared 2. These results confirm that breast milk and infant feces from mother-infant pairs share the same strain(s), indicating that breastfeeding could contribute to the bacterial transfer from the mother to the infant and, therefore, to the infant gut colonization.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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