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Abstract

Bifidobacterium longum subspecies detected in infant stool have been associated with numerous subsequent health outcomes and are potential early markers of deviation from healthy developmental trajectories. This analysis derived indicators of carriage and early colonization with B. infantis and B. longum and quantified their associations with a panel of early-life exposures and outcomes. In a sub-study nested within a multi-site birth cohort, extant stool samples from infants in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Tanzania were tested for presence and quantity of two Bifidobacterium longum subspecies. The results were matched to indicators of nutritional status, enteropathogen infection, histo-blood group antigens, vaccine response and feeding status and regression models were fitted to test for associations while adjusting for covariates. B. infantis was associated with lower quantity of and decreased odds of colonization with B. longum, and vice versa. Length at birth was associated with a 0.36 increase in log10 B. infantis and a 0.28 decrease in B. longum quantity at 1 month of age. B. infantis colonization was associated with fewer viral infections and small reductions in the risk of rotavirus and sapovirus infections, but not reduced overall diarrheal disease risk. No associations with vaccine responses, HBGAs or later nutritional status were identified. Suboptimal intrauterine growth and a shorter duration of exclusive breastfeeding may predispose infants to early intestinal colonization with the B. longum subspecies at the expense of B. infantis, thus denying them potential benefits of reduced enteric virus episodes.

Keywords: Bifidobacteria; cohort study; global health; infant nutrition; microbiome.

Research Insights

SupplementHealth OutcomeEffect TypeEffect Size
BifidobacteriumReduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis BI02Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis HA-116Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis M-63Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04INo Change in Nutritional StatusNeutral
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04INo Change in Vaccine ResponsesNeutral
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis MAK22B04IReduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis SD-6720Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium infantis VPro 53Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium lactis/longumReduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium lactis/longumReduced Intestinal ColonizationNeutral
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum B1-05Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum BL03Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum HA-135Increased Birth LengthNeutral
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum HA-135Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum iVE-15Increased Birth LengthNeutral
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum iVE-15Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum SD-5588Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum SP54Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantisReduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis M-63Increased Birth LengthNeutral
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis M-63Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum UABI-14Increased Birth LengthNeutral
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum subsp. longum UABI-14Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum UABI-14Increased Birth LengthNeutral
Moderate
Bifidobacterium longum UABI-14Reduced Enteric Virus Infection RatesBeneficial
Small
Bifidobacterium longum UABl-14Reduced Viral Infection IncidenceBeneficial
Small

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