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Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis: champion colonizer of the infant gut

  • 2014-10-10
  • Pediatric Research 77(1-2)
    • M. Underwood
    • J. German
    • C. Lebrilla
    • D. Mills

Abstract

Oligosaccharides are abundant in human milk. Production of these highly diverse structures requires significant energy expenditure by the mother and yet these human milk oligosaccharides offer no direct nutritive value to her infant. A primary function of human milk oligosaccharides is to shape the infant's intestinal microbiota with life-long consequences. Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis (B. infantis) is unique among gut bacteria in its prodigious capacity to digest and consume any human milk oligosaccharide structure, the result of a large repertoire of bacterial genes encoding an array of glycosidases and oligosaccharide transporters not found in other bacterial species. In vitro, B. infantis grows better than other bacterial strains in the presence of human milk oligosaccharides, displays anti-inflammatory activity in premature intestinal cells, and decreases intestinal permeability. In premature infants, B. infantis given in combination with human milk increases B. infantis and decreases Enterobacteriaceae in the feces. Probiotics containing B. infantis decrease the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in premature infants. Colonization with B. infantis is also associated with increased vaccine responses. Probiotic organisms have historically been selected based on ease of production and stability. The advantages of B. infantis, selected through coevolution with human milk glycans, present an opportunity for focused manipulation of the infant intestinal microbiota.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
Bifidobacterium infantisAltered Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantisImproved GrowthBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantisImproved Immune Response to Influenza VaccineBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantisReduced Intestinal InflammationBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantisReduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantisReduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Enhanced Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Improved Digestion of Human Milk OligosaccharidesBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Increased Levels of Bifidobacterium infantis in FecesBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Reduced Enterobacteriaceae Levels in FecesBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Reduced Intestinal InflammationBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Reduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Reduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Enhanced Growth of Beneficial Gut BacteriaBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Improved Immune Response to Influenza VaccineBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Reduced Enterobacteriaceae Levels in FecesBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Reduced Intestinal InflammationBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Reduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Reduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis M-63Enhanced Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis M-63Increased Bifidobacterium infantis AbundanceBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis M-63Reduced Enterobacteriaceae CountsBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis M-63Reduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IEnhanced Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IImproved GrowthBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IReduced Enterobacteriaceae Levels in FecesBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IReduced Intestinal InflammationBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IReduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IReduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis SD-6720Improved GrowthBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis SD-6720Improved Immune Response to Influenza VaccineBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis SD-6720Reduced Intestinal InflammationBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis SD-6720Reduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis SD-6720Reduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Enhanced Vaccine ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Improved Gut Microbiota CompositionBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Reduced Inflammation LevelsBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Reduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Reduced Pathogenic BacteriaBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Reduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisEnhanced Immune ResponseBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisImproved GrowthBeneficial
Large
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisReduced Enterobacteriaceae Levels in FecesBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisReduced Inflammation in Premature Intestinal CellsBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisReduced Intestinal PermeabilityBeneficial
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisReduced Risk of Necrotizing EnterocolitisBeneficial
Large

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