One-week infants given the strain EVC001 of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis ( B. infantis ) for three weeks retained the bacteria as the dominant species in the intestine for 30 more days after the completion of supplementation, according to researchers at the University of California (UC), Davis.
"Although we stopped administering the probiotic on day 28 of life, the particular organisms that we gave were kept in their fecal community for 60 days or even longer," commented the principal investigator Professor Mark Underwood, Chief of the Division of Neonatology at UC Davis Children's Hospital . "They survived and dominated, and that's something we have not really seen before."
Supplemented infants also had a lower fecal pH and less abundant amounts of harmful Proteobacteria a pathogenic bacterium type that is recognized to be a marker of dysbiosis.
Compared to controls, supplemented infants also had four times lower endotoxin levels and higher concentrations of lactate and acetate, the team wrote in mSphere.
"We found that a low fecal pH was negatively associated with Proteobacteria, whose presence in a bowel community is considered a hallmark of dysbiosis",
"Colonization by B. infantis EVC001
Supplemented infants also showed lower levels of fecal milk oligosaccharides, suggesting higher ption consumption of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) by the probiotic B. infantis . This finding strengthened previous evidence that B. infantis works with HMO in breast milk to help create a beneficial microbiome in infants.
"Compared to all the errors we've tried, this is a very good consumer of milk oligosaccharides" said Underwood. "He is able to use sugar molecules in mom's milk better than any other gut microbe, including diners and pathogens."
Previous research has shown strong links between imbalances in intestinal bacteria (dysbiosis) and disease. Such disruptions in the microbiome may be particularly important in the first years of life, suggests Underwood.
Colonization of a baby's gut with beneficial bacteria could reduce the risk of allergies, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and diabetes later in life, hypothesized.
However, Underwood cautioned, " Future studies will be necessary to elucidate the durability of this effect during late childhood and whether these effects have an impact on overall health later in life."
The combination of the probiotic in a milk formula HMO could also extend the benefits to non-breastfed babies, he proposed.
"The combination of human milk and Bifidobacterium associated with a baby show, for the first time, that lasting changes in the human gut microbiome are possible and are associated with better intestinal function.  " If the mother can not Breastfeeding for any reason, our hypothesis would be if you give that baby a 3-week course of this probiotic and a formula with added human milk oligosaccharides, colonizing ion should occur and persist as long as they are in that formula ",
Previous research has found that a high level of B. infantis is associated with healthy babies.
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The intake study of infantile and probiotic microbiota (IMPRINT) included the babies of 66 mothers who were breastfeeding. Beginning at the age of one week, in the supplement group, mothers fed their babies with Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis EVC001 for three weeks. Babies in the control group were not supplemented.
Researchers analyzed faecal samples during the first 60 days of life to measure compositional variations of intestinal bacteria, short-chain fatty acids, faecal oligosaccharide content, and faecal pH.
Safety and tolerability
The probiotic strain used in the test, Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis EVC001 is manufactured by Evolve Biosystems Inc.
For Evolve, the absence of the adverse effects, safety and tolerability of the strain were also an important result of the study.
"This study shows that supplementation with B. infantis activated in combination with breast milk is safe and well tolerated in infants", said David Kyle, CEO of Evolve BioSystems.
"The initial safety and clinical tolerability results of the IMPRINT test are very encouraging and pave the way to restoring the infantile gut microbiome to a higher level, a state very similar to that of our ancestors," Underwood added .
Published online, doi: 10.1128 / mSphere.00501-17
"Persistence of Bifidobacterium longum subsp. Supplemented. Infantis EVC001 in breastfed infants"
Authors : Steven A Frese, Mark A. Underwood et al.