Bifidobacterial Transfer from Mother to Child as Examined by an Animal Model
Laboratory of Probiogenomics, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
GenProbio srl, 43124 Parma, Italy
Stress Physiology Laboratory, Department of Chemistry, Life Sciences and Environmental Sustainability, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
Microbiome Research Hub, University of Parma, 43124 Parma, Italy
School of Microbiology & APC Microbiome Institute, University College Cork, T12 YT20 Cork, Ireland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2019, 7(9), 293; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms7090293
Received: 25 July 2019 / Revised: 21 August 2019 / Accepted: 22 August 2019 / Published: 27 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bifidobacteria: Insights from Ecology to Genomics of a Key Microbial Group of the Mammalian Gut Microbiota)
Bifidobacteria commonly constitute the most abundant group of microorganisms in the healthy infant gut. Their intestinal establishment is believed to be maternally driven, and their acquisition has even been postulated to occur during pregnancy. In the current study, we evaluated bifidobacterial mother-to infant transmission events in a rat model by means of quantitative PCR (qPCR), as well as by Internally Transcribed Spacer (ITS) bifidobacterial profiling. The occurrence of strains supplied by mothers during pregnancy to their corresponding newborns was observed and identified by analysis immediately following C-section delivery. These findings provide intriguing support for the existence of an unknown route to facilitate bifidobacterial transfer during the very early stages of life.