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Microbiome. 2017 Jun 26;5(1):66. doi: 10.1186/s40168-017-0282-6.

Maternal inheritance of bifidobacterial communities and bifidophages in infants through vertical transmission.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 11a, 43124, Parma, Italy.
2
Centre for Integrative Biology, University of Trento, Trento, Italy.
3
APC Microbiome Institute and School of Microbiology, Bioscience Institute, National University of Ireland, Cork, Ireland.
4
Azienda Provinciale per i Servizi Sanitari, Trento, Italy.
5
GenProbio srl, Parma, Italy.
6
Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze 11a, 43124, Parma, Italy. marco.ventura@unipr.it.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The correct establishment of the human gut microbiota represents a crucial development that commences at birth. Different hypotheses propose that the infant gut microbiota is derived from, among other sources, the mother's fecal/vaginal microbiota and human milk.

RESULTS:

The composition of bifidobacterial communities of 25 mother-infant pairs was investigated based on an internal transcribed spacer (ITS) approach, combined with cultivation-mediated and genomic analyses. We identified bifidobacterial strains/communities that are shared between mothers and their corresponding newborns. Notably, genomic analyses together with growth profiling assays revealed that bifidobacterial strains that had been isolated from human milk are genetically adapted to utilize human milk glycans. In addition, we identified particular bacteriophages specific of bifidobacterial species that are common in the viromes of mother and corresponding child.

CONCLUSIONS:

This study highlights the transmission of bifidobacterial communities from the mother to her child and implies human milk as a potential vehicle to facilitate this acquisition. Furthermore, these data represent the first example of maternal inheritance of bifidobacterial phages, also known as bifidophages in infants following a vertical transmission route.

KEYWORDS:

Bifidobacteria; Microbiome; Microbiota; Vertical transmission; Virome

PMID:
28651630
PMCID:
PMC5485682
DOI:
10.1186/s40168-017-0282-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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