The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium

A special issue of Microorganisms (ISSN 2076-2607). This special issue belongs to the section "Gut Microbiota".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 49437

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Neonatology, Pediatrics Area, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias, Universidad de Oviedo, Oviedo, Spain
Interests: newborn microbiota; probiotics; antibiotics; Bifidobacterium; research ethics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA-CSIC), Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain
Interests: microbiota; probiotics; prebiotics; bifidobacterium
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue of Microorganisms will present a collection of articles providing the current view of gut microbiota research, at both basic and applied levels, in infancy, its role, and the consequences for later health, with special focus on the genus Bifidobacterium. In recent years, there have been great efforts to understand the importance of the intestinal microbiota for the infant and later health, to elucidate its composition at the different stages, and develop nutritional intervention strategies for its modulation. Therefore, the intestinal microbiota has been studied in depth at different stages of child development and in different pathological situations. However, there are still important gaps in the importance of alterations in the microbiota, and specifically in the role of some microorganisms of great relevance in the infant intestinal ecosystem, such as the members of the genus Bifidobacterium. Bifidobacteria are not just among the predominant intestinal microorganisms during early life, strains of this genus are often included as probiotics in infant foods, thus constituting key microorganisms in infancy. In this context this Special Issue entitled “The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium” will cover, from a multidisciplinary perspective, research topics including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Role of infant intestinal microbiota in the maintenance of health.
  • Development of the gut microbiota, including the genus Bifidobacterium, along the different stages of infant development; from the neonatal period to adolescence.
  • Impact of both long and short-term interventions in infancy on the intestinal microbiota composition and function.
  • Use of probiotics, including the genus Bifidobacterium, in neonates and pediatric population.
  • Effect of feeding habits, infant foods, etc., on Bifidobacterium.
  • In vitro and animal studies elucidating the mechanisms involved in the bifidobacteria–host interaction.

As Guest Editor of this Special Issue, we invite you to submit research articles, review articles, and short communications related to the above-mentioned topics.

Dr. Gonzalo Solís Sánchez
Prof. Dr. Miguel Gueimonde
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • gut microbiota
  • bifidobacterium
  • probiotics
  • prebiotics
  • newborn
  • infants
  • breastfeeding
  • infant foods
  • host interaction

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

3 pages, 220 KiB  
Editorial
The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium
by Gonzalo Solís and Miguel Gueimonde
Microorganisms 2023, 11(2), 537; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms11020537 - 20 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1135
Abstract
A long time has passed since the initial pioneering works were carried out on the composition of infant microbiota by Thedore Escherich (1857–1911) and Ernst Moro (1874–1951), and since the observations of Henry Tissier (1866–1916) which linked “Bacillus bifidus” to the health of [...] Read more.
A long time has passed since the initial pioneering works were carried out on the composition of infant microbiota by Thedore Escherich (1857–1911) and Ernst Moro (1874–1951), and since the observations of Henry Tissier (1866–1916) which linked “Bacillus bifidus” to the health of babies [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)

Research

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18 pages, 2607 KiB  
Article
A Study and Modeling of Bifidobacterium and Bacillus Coculture Continuous Fermentation under Distal Intestine Simulated Conditions
by Svetlana A. Evdokimova, Boris A. Karetkin, Elena V. Guseva, Maria G. Gordienko, Natalia V. Khabibulina, Victor I. Panfilov, Natalia V. Menshutina and Nina B. Gradova
Microorganisms 2022, 10(5), 929; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10050929 - 28 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2298
Abstract
The diversity and the stability of the microbial community are associated with microecological interactions between its members. Antagonism is one type of interaction, which particularly determines the benefits that probiotics bring to host health by suppressing opportunistic pathogens and microbial contaminants in food. [...] Read more.
The diversity and the stability of the microbial community are associated with microecological interactions between its members. Antagonism is one type of interaction, which particularly determines the benefits that probiotics bring to host health by suppressing opportunistic pathogens and microbial contaminants in food. Mathematical models allow for quantitatively predicting intrapopulation relationships. The aim of this study was to create predictive models for bacterial contamination outcomes depending on the probiotic antagonism and prebiotic concentration. This should allow an improvement in the screening of synbiotic composition for preventing gut microbial infections. The functional model (fermentation) was based on a three-stage continuous system, and the distal colon section (N2, pH 6.8, flow rate 0.04 h–1) was simulated. The strains Bifidobacterium adolescentis ATCC 15703 and Bacillus cereus ATCC 9634 were chosen as the model probiotic and pathogen. Oligofructose Orafti P95 (OF) was used as the prebiotic at concentrations of 2, 5, 7, 10, 12, and 15 g/L of the medium. In the first stage, the system was inoculated with Bifidobacterium, and a dynamic equilibrium (Bifidobacterium count, lactic, and acetic acids) was achieved. Then, the system was contaminated with a 3-day Bacillus suspension (spores). The microbial count, as well as the concentration of acids and residual carbohydrates, was measured. A Bacillus monoculture was studied as a control. The stationary count of Bacillus in monoculture was markedly higher. An increase (up to 8 h) in the lag phase was observed for higher prebiotic concentrations. The specific growth rate in the exponential phase varied at different OF concentrations. Thus, the OF concentration influenced two key events of bacterial infection, which together determine when the maximal pathogen count will be reached. The mathematical models were developed, and their accuracies were acceptable for Bifidobacterium (relative errors ranging from 1.00% to 2.58%) and Bacillus (relative errors ranging from 0.74% to 2.78%) count prediction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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13 pages, 1316 KiB  
Article
Phylogenetic, Functional and Safety Features of 1950s B. infantis Strains
by Stéphane Duboux, Catherine Ngom-Bru, Florac De Bruyn and Biljana Bogicevic
Microorganisms 2022, 10(2), 203; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10020203 - 18 Jan 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2737
Abstract
Strains of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) are amongst the first to colonize the infant gut, partly due to their capacity to metabolize complex human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), and are proposed to play a key role in the development of [...] Read more.
Strains of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis) are amongst the first to colonize the infant gut, partly due to their capacity to metabolize complex human milk oligosaccharides (HMO), and are proposed to play a key role in the development of the infant gut. Since early life, B. infantis supplementation is of high interest, and detailed phylogenetic, functional and safety characterization of the selected strains should be pursued. Using a combination of long and short-read sequencing technologies, we first decipher the genetic distance between different isolates of the same B. infantis strain. Using the same approach, we show that several publicly available genomes recapitulate this strain-level distance as compared to two of the first strains obtained in the 1950s. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the two 1950s B. infantis strains display different functional and safety attributes, as ATCC 15697 is resistant to streptomycin and shows a preference towards lacto-N-tetraose LNT and sialylated HMOs, while LMG 11588 is sensitive to all tested antibiotics and shows a preference towards fucosylated HMOs. Overall, our work highlights that the current diversity observed in B. infantis is likely underestimated and that strain selection within this subspecies must be the subject of scientific pursuit and associated evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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11 pages, 2036 KiB  
Article
Identification of Lactobacillus Strains Capable of Fermenting Fructo-Oligosaccharides and Inulin
by John A. Renye, Jr., Andre K. White and Arland T. Hotchkiss, Jr.
Microorganisms 2021, 9(10), 2020; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9102020 - 24 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2722
Abstract
Novel probiotic strains that can ferment prebiotics are important for functional foods. The utilization of prebiotics is strain specific, so we screened 86 Lactobacillus strains and compared them to Bifidobacterium breve 2141 for the ability to grow and produce SCFA when 1% inulin [...] Read more.
Novel probiotic strains that can ferment prebiotics are important for functional foods. The utilization of prebiotics is strain specific, so we screened 86 Lactobacillus strains and compared them to Bifidobacterium breve 2141 for the ability to grow and produce SCFA when 1% inulin or fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) were provided as the carbon source in batch fermentations. When grown anaerobically at 32 °C, ten Lactobacillus strains grew on both prebiotic substrates (OD600 ≥ 1.2); while Lactobacillus coryniformis subsp. torquens B4390 grew only in the presence of inulin. When the growth temperature was increased to 37 °C to simulate the human body temperature, four of these strains were no longer able to grow on either prebiotic. Additionally, L. casei strains 4646 and B441, and L. helveticus strains B1842 and B1929 did not require anaerobic conditions for growth on both prebiotics. Short-chain fatty acid analysis was performed on cell-free supernatants. The concentration of lactic acid produced by the ten Lactobacillus strains in the presence of prebiotics ranged from 73–205 mM. L. helveticus B1929 produced the highest concentration of acetic acid ~19 mM, while L. paraplantarum B23115 and L. paracasei ssp. paracasei B4564 produced the highest concentrations of propionic (1.8–4.0 mM) and butyric (0.9 and 1.1 mM) acids from prebiotic fermentation. L. mali B4563, L. paraplantarum B23115 and L. paracasei ssp. paracasei B4564 were identified as butyrate producers for the first time. These strains hold potential as synbiotics with FOS or inulin in the development of functional foods, including infant formula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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19 pages, 4214 KiB  
Article
Comparative Genomic Analysis of Novel Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum Strains Reveals Functional Divergence in the Human Gut Microbiota
by Romina Díaz, Alexis Torres-Miranda, Guillermo Orellana and Daniel Garrido
Microorganisms 2021, 9(9), 1906; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9091906 - 08 Sep 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3397
Abstract
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum is a prevalent group in the human gut microbiome. Its persistence in the intestinal microbial community suggests a close host-microbe relationship according to age. The subspecies adaptations are related to metabolic capabilities and genomic and functional diversity. In this [...] Read more.
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum is a prevalent group in the human gut microbiome. Its persistence in the intestinal microbial community suggests a close host-microbe relationship according to age. The subspecies adaptations are related to metabolic capabilities and genomic and functional diversity. In this study, 154 genomes from public databases and four new Chilean isolates were genomically compared through an in silico approach to identify genomic divergence in genes associated with carbohydrate consumption and their possible adaptations to different human intestinal niches. The pangenome of the subspecies was open, which correlates with its remarkable ability to colonize several niches. The new genomes homogenously clustered within subspecies longum, as observed in phylogenetic analysis. B. longum SC664 was different at the sequence level but not in its functions. COG analysis revealed that carbohydrate use is variable among longum subspecies. Glycosyl hydrolases participating in human milk oligosaccharide use were found in certain infant and adult genomes. Predictive genomic analysis revealed that B. longum M12 contained an HMO cluster associated with the use of fucosylated HMOs but only endowed with a GH95, being able to grow in 2-fucosyllactose as the sole carbon source. This study identifies novel genomes with distinct adaptations to HMOs and highlights the plasticity of B. longum subsp. longum to colonize the human gut microbiota. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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13 pages, 1386 KiB  
Article
Effect of Intrapartum Antibiotics Prophylaxis on the Bifidobacterial Establishment within the Neonatal Gut
by Silvia Saturio, Marta Suárez, Leonardo Mancabelli, Nuria Fernández, Laura Mantecón, Clara G. de los Reyes-Gavilán, Marco Ventura, Miguel Gueimonde, Silvia Arboleya and Gonzalo Solís
Microorganisms 2021, 9(9), 1867; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9091867 - 02 Sep 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2015
Abstract
Antibiotics are important disruptors of the intestinal microbiota establishment, linked to immune and metabolic alterations. The intrapartum antibiotics prophylaxis (IAP) is a common clinical practice that is present in more than 30% of labours, and is known to negatively affect the gut microbiota [...] Read more.
Antibiotics are important disruptors of the intestinal microbiota establishment, linked to immune and metabolic alterations. The intrapartum antibiotics prophylaxis (IAP) is a common clinical practice that is present in more than 30% of labours, and is known to negatively affect the gut microbiota composition. However, little is known about how it affects to Bifidobacterium (sub)species level, which is one of the most important intestinal microbial genera early in life. This study presents qualitative and quantitative analyses of the bifidobacterial (sub)species populations in faecal samples, collected at 2, 10, 30 and 90 days of life, from 43 healthy full-term babies, sixteen of them delivered after IAP use. This study uses both 16S rRNA–23S rRNA internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region sequencing and q-PCR techniques for the analyses of the relative proportions and absolute levels, respectively, of the bifidobacterial populations. Our results show that the bifidobacterial populations establishment is affected by the IAP at both quantitative and qualitative levels. This practice can promote higher bifidobacterial diversity and several changes at a compositional level. This study underlines specific targets for developing gut microbiota-based products for favouring a proper bifidobacterial microbiota development when IAP is required. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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15 pages, 1749 KiB  
Article
Impact of Maternal Intrapartum Antibiotics, and Caesarean Section with and without Labour on Bifidobacterium and Other Infant Gut Microbiota
by Yuan Yao Chen, Xin Zhao, Wolfgang Moeder, Hein M. Tun, Elinor Simons, Piushkumar J. Mandhane, Theo J. Moraes, Stuart E. Turvey, Padmaja Subbarao, James A. Scott and Anita L. Kozyrskyj
Microorganisms 2021, 9(9), 1847; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9091847 - 31 Aug 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3321
Abstract
Background and Aims: Few studies consider the joint effect of multiple factors related to birth, delivery mode, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis and the onset of labour, on the abundance of Bifidobacterium and the quantity of this genus and its species Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis [...] Read more.
Background and Aims: Few studies consider the joint effect of multiple factors related to birth, delivery mode, intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis and the onset of labour, on the abundance of Bifidobacterium and the quantity of this genus and its species Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis in the infant gut microbiota. We implemented such a study. Methods: Among 1654 Canadian full-term infants, the gut microbiota of faecal samples collected at 3 months were profiled by 16S rRNA sequencing; the genus Bifidobacterium and Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis were quantified by qPCR. Associations between Bifidobacterium and other gut microbiota were examined by Spearman’s rank correlation. Results: Following vaginal birth, maternal IAP exposure was associated with reduced absolute quantities of bifidobacteria among vaginally delivered infants (6.80 vs. 7.14 log10 (gene-copies/g faeces), p < 0.05), as well as their lowered abundance relative to other gut microbiota. IAP differences in infant gut bifidobacterial quantity were independent of maternal pre-pregnancy body-mass-index (BMI), and remarkably, they were limited to breastfed infants. Pre-pregnancy BMI adjustment revealed negative associations between absolute quantities of bifidobacteria and CS with or without labour in non-breastfed infants, and CS with labour in exclusively breastfed infants. Significant correlations between Bifidobacterium abundance and other microbial taxa were observed. Conclusions: This study documented the impact of the birth mode and feeding status on the abundance of gut Bifidobacterium, and pointed to the important ecological role of the genus Bifidobacterium in gut microbiota due to its strong interaction with other gut microbiota in early infancy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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19 pages, 6274 KiB  
Article
Influence of 2′-Fucosyllactose on the Microbiota Composition and Metabolic Activity of Fecal Cultures from Breastfed and Formula-Fed Infants at Two Months of Age
by Alicja M. Nogacka, Silvia Arboleya, Naghmeh Nikpoor, Jeremie Auger, Nuria Salazar, Isabel Cuesta, Laura Mantecón, Gonzalo Solís, Miguel Gueimonde, Thomas A. Tompkins and Clara G. de los Reyes-Gavilán
Microorganisms 2021, 9(7), 1478; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9071478 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3673
Abstract
Although breast milk is considered the gold standard of nutrition for infant feeding, some circumstances may make breastfeeding difficult. Several commercial milk preparations include synthetic human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in their composition. However, the effect of HMOs on the establishment of the intestinal [...] Read more.
Although breast milk is considered the gold standard of nutrition for infant feeding, some circumstances may make breastfeeding difficult. Several commercial milk preparations include synthetic human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) in their composition. However, the effect of HMOs on the establishment of the intestinal microbiota remains incompletely understood. Independent batch fermentations were performed with feces from six full-term infant donors of two months of age (three breastfed and three formula-fed, exclusively) in the presence of 2′fucosyllactose (2′FL), one of the most abundant HMOs in human milk. Microbiota composition was analyzed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing at baseline and at 24 h of incubation. The 2′FL consumption, gas accumulation, and levels of different metabolites were determined by chromatography. Microbiota profiles at baseline were clearly influenced by the mode of feeding and by the intrinsic ability of microbiotas to degrade 2′FL. The 2′FL degradation rate clustered fecal cultures into slow and fast degraders, regardless of feeding type, this being a determinant factor influencing the evolution of the microbiota during incubation, although the low number of donors precludes drawing sound conclusions. More studies are needed to decipher the extent to which the early intervention with HMOs could influence the microbiota as a function of its ability to utilize 2′FL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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18 pages, 1638 KiB  
Article
A Study on the Synbiotic Composition of Bifidobacterium bifidum and Fructans from Arctium lappa Roots and Helianthus tuberosus Tubers against Staphylococcus aureus
by Svetlana A. Evdokimova, Vera S. Nokhaeva, Boris A. Karetkin, Elena V. Guseva, Natalia V. Khabibulina, Maria A. Kornienko, Veronika D. Grosheva, Natalia V. Menshutina, Irina V. Shakir and Victor I. Panfilov
Microorganisms 2021, 9(5), 930; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9050930 - 26 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2573
Abstract
A number of mechanisms have been proposed explaining probiotics and prebiotics benefit human health, in particular, probiotics have a suppression effect on pathogen growth that can be enhanced with the introduction of prebiotics. In vitro models enhanced with computational biology can be useful [...] Read more.
A number of mechanisms have been proposed explaining probiotics and prebiotics benefit human health, in particular, probiotics have a suppression effect on pathogen growth that can be enhanced with the introduction of prebiotics. In vitro models enhanced with computational biology can be useful for selecting a composition with prebiotics from new plant sources with the greatest synergism. Water extracts from burdock root and Jerusalem artichoke tubers were purified by ultrafiltration and activated charcoal and concentrated on a rotary evaporator. Fructans were precipitated with various concentrations of ethanol. Bifidobacterium bifidum 8 VKPM AC−2136 and Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 43300 strains were applied to estimate the synbiotic effect. The growth of bifidobacteria and staphylococci in monocultures and cocultures in broths with glucose, commercial prebiotics, as well as isolated fructans were studied. The minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) of lactic and acetic acids for the Staphylococcus strain were determined. A quantitative model joining the formation of organic acids by probiotics as antagonism factors and the MICs of pathogens (as the measure of their inhibition) was tested in cocultures and showed a high predictive value (R2 ≥ 0.86). The synbiotic factor obtained from the model was calculated based on the experimental data and obtained constants. Fructans precipitated with 20% ethanol and Bifidobacterium bifidum have the greater synergism against Staphylococcus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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11 pages, 2044 KiB  
Article
Changes in Gut Microbiota Correlates with Response to Treatment with Probiotics in Patients with Atopic Dermatitis. A Post Hoc Analysis of a Clinical Trial
by Eric Climent, Juan Francisco Martinez-Blanch, Laura Llobregat, Beatriz Ruzafa-Costas, Miguel Ángel Carrión-Gutiérrez, Ana Ramírez-Boscá, David Prieto-Merino, Salvador Genovés, Francisco M. Codoñer, Daniel Ramón, Empar Chenoll and Vicente Navarro-López
Microorganisms 2021, 9(4), 854; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9040854 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 4605
Abstract
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic recurrent inflammatory skin disease with a high impact on the comfort of those who are affected and long-term treated with corticosteroids with limited efficacy and a high prevalence of relapses. Because of the limited effectiveness of these [...] Read more.
Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a chronic recurrent inflammatory skin disease with a high impact on the comfort of those who are affected and long-term treated with corticosteroids with limited efficacy and a high prevalence of relapses. Because of the limited effectiveness of these treatments, new strategies for recovery from AD lesions are continually being explored. In this article, we describe the gut microbiome changes achieved in a recently published clinical trial with the probiotic formulation Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis CECT 8145, Bifidobacterium longum CECT 7347, and Lacticaseibacillus casei CECT 9104 (formerly Lactobacillus casei CECT 9104), showing a significant improvement in SCORAD (scoring atopic dermatitis) index in children (4–17 years) with AD (Clinicaltrials.gov identifier: NCT02585986). The present gut microbiome post hoc study showed no significant changes in diversity (Shannon and Simpson indexes) after probiotic consumption. In the probiotic group, genera Bacteroides, Ruminococcus, and Bifidobacterium significantly increased their levels while Faecalibacterium decreased, compared to the placebo group. Faecalibacterium showed the highest presence and significant positive correlation with AD severity (SCORAD index), whereas Abyssivirga, Bifidobacterium, and Lactococcus were inversely correlated. The results suggest that the consumption of the probiotic formulation here assayed modulates the gut microbiome with significant changes in genera Bacteroides and Faecalibacterium. In turn, the improvement in SCORAD correlates with a decrease in Faecalibacterium and an increase in Bifidobacterium, among others. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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9 pages, 1998 KiB  
Communication
Species- and Age/Generation-Dependent Adherence of Bifidobacterium bifidum to Human Intestinal Mucus In Vitro
by Gaku Harata, Kazutoyo Yoda, Ruipeng Wang, Kenji Miyazawa, Masayuki Sato, Fang He and Akihito Endo
Microorganisms 2021, 9(3), 542; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9030542 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2153
Abstract
Adhesion to intestinal mucus is the first event in the process by which intestinal microbes colonize the intestine. It plays a critical role in the initiation of interactions between gut microbes and host animals. Despite the importance, the adhesion properties of probiotics are [...] Read more.
Adhesion to intestinal mucus is the first event in the process by which intestinal microbes colonize the intestine. It plays a critical role in the initiation of interactions between gut microbes and host animals. Despite the importance, the adhesion properties of probiotics are generally characterized using porcine mucin; adhesion to human mucus has been poorly characterized. In the present study, human intestinal mucus samples were isolated from 114 fecal samples collected from healthy infants and adults. In initial screening, four out of the 13 beneficial microbes tested, including the type strain of Bifidobacterium bifidum, B. bifidum TMC3115, Lacticaseibacillus rhamnosus GG, and Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis Bb12, showed strong adhesion abilities to human mucus. The type strain of B. bifidum and TMC3115 adhered more strongly to neonatal and infant mucus than to adult mucus, while L. rhamnosus GG and B. lactis Bb12 adhered more strongly to adult mucus than to infant mucus. Similar results were obtained for ten additional strains of B. bifidum. In conclusion, age/generation-related differences were observed in the adhesion properties of B. bifidum and other strains. A deeper symbiotic relationship may exist between infants, particularly neonates, and B. bifidum based on its enhanced adhesion to neonatal intestinal mucus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

11 pages, 1360 KiB  
Review
Why Are Bifidobacteria Important for Infants?
by Gerrit A. Stuivenberg, Jeremy P. Burton, Peter A. Bron and Gregor Reid
Microorganisms 2022, 10(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms10020278 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 27 | Viewed by 9421
Abstract
The presence of Bifidobacterium species in the maternal vaginal and fecal microbiota is arguably an evolutionary trait that allows these organisms to be primary colonizers of the newborn intestinal tract. Their ability to utilize human milk oligosaccharides fosters their establishment as core health-promoting [...] Read more.
The presence of Bifidobacterium species in the maternal vaginal and fecal microbiota is arguably an evolutionary trait that allows these organisms to be primary colonizers of the newborn intestinal tract. Their ability to utilize human milk oligosaccharides fosters their establishment as core health-promoting organisms throughout life. A reduction in their abundance in infants has been shown to increase the prevalence of obesity, diabetes, metabolic disorder, and all-cause mortality later in life. Probiotic strains have been developed as supplements for premature babies and to counter some of these ailments as well as to confer a range of health benefits. The ability to modulate the immune response and produce short-chain fatty acids, particularly acetate and butyrate, that strengthen the gut barrier and regulate the gut microbiome, makes Bifidobacterium a core component of a healthy infant through adulthood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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29 pages, 955 KiB  
Review
Role of Bifidobacteria on Infant Health
by Silvia Saturio, Alicja M. Nogacka, Guadalupe M. Alvarado-Jasso, Nuria Salazar, Clara G. de los Reyes-Gavilán, Miguel Gueimonde and Silvia Arboleya
Microorganisms 2021, 9(12), 2415; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms9122415 - 23 Nov 2021
Cited by 41 | Viewed by 7512
Abstract
Bifidobacteria are among the predominant microorganisms during infancy, being a dominant microbial group in the healthy breastfed infant and playing a crucial role in newborns and infant development. Not only the levels of the Bifidobacterium genus but also the profile and quantity of [...] Read more.
Bifidobacteria are among the predominant microorganisms during infancy, being a dominant microbial group in the healthy breastfed infant and playing a crucial role in newborns and infant development. Not only the levels of the Bifidobacterium genus but also the profile and quantity of the different bifidobacterial species have been demonstrated to be of relevance to infant health. Although no definitive proof is available on the causal association, reduced levels of bifidobacteria are perhaps the most frequently observed alteration of the intestinal microbiota in infant diseases. Moreover, Bifidobacterium strains have been extensively studied by their probiotic attributes. This review compiles the available information about bifidobacterial composition and function since the beginning of life, describing different perinatal factors affecting them, and their implications on different health alterations in infancy. In addition, this review gathers exhaustive information about pre-clinical and clinical studies with Bifidobacterium strains as probiotics in neonates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Gut Microbiota in Infants: Focus on Bifidobacterium)
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