Breastfeeding-associated microbiota in human milk following supplementation with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5, and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis Bb-12.J Dairy Sci. 2018 Feb; 101(2):889-899.JD
Breastfeeding is one of the major factors affecting the early development of the infant gut microbiota, and weaning is associated with a shift in the gut microbiota toward a more adult composition. Through breastfeeding, infants receive bioactive components that shape their microbiota while also being exposed to the breast milk and breast surface microbial communities. Recent studies have suggested the possibility of an entero-mammary route of microbial transfer, opening the possibility of infant gut microbiota modulation through maternal probiotic supplementation. In this study, we have analyzed breast milk samples collected at 10 d and 3 mo postpartum from women participating in the Probiotics in the Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim placebo controlled trial. Women who were randomized to the probiotic arm of the Probiotics in the Prevention of Allergy among Children in Trondheim trial received a fermented milk supplemented with Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG, Lactobacillus acidophilus La-5, and Bifidobacterium animalis ssp. lactis Bb-12, consuming this daily from 4 wk before their expected due date until 3 mo after birth. In total, 472 breast milk samples were assessed for the administered bacteria using quantitative real-time PCR and the microbiota transferred during breastfeeding was analyzed using 16S ribosomal RNA gene sequencing of 142 samples. We found that breastfeeding is unlikely to be a significant source of L. rhamnosus GG, L. acidophilus La-5, and B. animalis ssp. lactis Bb-12 for infants in the probiotic arm of the trial. Furthermore, maternal supplementation did not significantly affect the overall composition of the breast milk microbiota transferred during breastfeeding. We also present a descriptive analysis of this microbiota, which was largely dominated by Streptococcus and Staphylococcus genera at both 10 d and 3 mo postpartum. Samples collected at 3 mo postpartum had a statistically significant lower presence and relative abundance of the Staphylococcus genus. These samples also had a greater number of observed species and diversity, including more operational taxonomic units from the Rothia, Veillonella, Granulicatella, and Methylbacterium genera.