Navigation Links
Breast-fed babies' gut microbes contribute to healthy immune systems
Date:5/21/2012

URBANA A new multi-university study reports that differences in bacterial colonization of the infant gut in formula-fed and breast-fed babies lead to changes in the expression of genes involved in the infant's immune system.

The study, published in the April 30 issue of BioMed Central's open access journal Genome Biology, is an Editor's Pick. The research was a joint effort of University of Illinois, Texas A&M University, Miami University, and University of Arkansas scientists.

"This study provides a first insight into the interactions between microbes and the developing infant and how these interactions are affected by diet. It also demonstrates the power of new experimental and analytical approaches that enable the simultaneous analysis of the microbiome and the host response," said Mihai Pop of the University of Maryland in a review of the study for the publishing journal.

There is strong evidence that the colonization of the body by microbes has an important influence on the development of infants' immune systems, he added.

In the study, the researchers compared the genes expressed in cells from the intestines of three-month-old exclusively breast-fed or formula-fed infants and related this to their gut microbes. The human intestine is lined by epithelial cells that process nutrients and provide the first line of defense against food antigens and pathogens. Approximately one-sixth of the intestinal epithelial cells are shed every day into feces, providing a non-invasive picture of what is going on inside the gut.

The baby's gene expression profile was compared to the genes contained in the microbes in its gut, or the bacterial metagenome. This analysis provides a picture of who the bacteria are and what they are doing.

The study showed that babies that had been fed only breast milk had a more diverse bacterial colonization than formula-fed babies. The scientists also found a link between the expression of genes in the bacteria and genes of the immune system in the baby.

"While we found that the microbiome of breast-fed infants is significantly enriched in genes associated with 'virulence,' including resistance to antibiotics and toxic compounds, we also found a correlation between bacterial pathogenicity and the expression of host genes associated with immune and defense mechanisms," said Robert Chapkin of Texas A&M University.

Iddo Friedberg of Miami University in Ohio said that the differences in virulence genes probably do not reflect an infection. "The breast-fed babies had a larger complement of gram-negative bacteria than the formula-fed babies. Gram-negative bacteria have genes that, although classified as 'virulent,' can activate the immune system but not cause an infection in the process. We are now studying this finding in greater depth," he said.

"The findings show that human milk feeding promotes the beneficial microbe population in the gut and crosstalk between these bacteria and the immune system of the infant and are helping us to define exactly why breast is best," said U of I scientist Sharon Donovan.


'/>"/>
Contact: Phyllis Picklesimer
p-pickle@illinois.edu
217-244-2827
University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Big-mouthed babies drove the evolution of giant island snakes
2. Vitamin D for pregnant women and babies -- how much is enough?
3. Lizard moms may prepare their babies for a stressful world
4. 2 servings of salmon a week is healthy for pregnant women and their babies
5. New infant formula ingredients boost babies immunity by feeding their gut bacteria
6. Babies are born with intuitive physics knowledge, says MU researcher
7. Breastfeeding saved babies in 19th century Montreal
8. Barracuda babies: Novel study sheds light on early life of prolific predator
9. Babies born with no eyes: Scientists identify genetic cause
10. Premature babies at risk of ill health in later life, research suggests
11. Sleep disruption for breastfed babies is temporary
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/2/2017)... TOKYO , Feb. 1, 2017  Central ... innovative and meaningful advances worldwide, The Japan Prize ... Japan Prize, who have pushed the envelope in ... Information and Communication. Three scientists are being recognized ... outstanding achievements that not only contribute to the ...
(Date:1/26/2017)... Jan. 26, 2017  Acuity Market Intelligence today ... and Digital Identity".  Acuity characterizes 2017 as a ... increased adoption reflects a new understanding of the ... "Biometrics and digital identity are often perceived as ... Most , Principal of Acuity Market intelligence. "However, ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... Research and Markets has announced the addition of the ... ... voice recognition biometrics market to grow at a CAGR of 19.36% ... present scenario and the growth prospects of the global voice recognition ... considers the revenue generated from the sales of voice recognition biometrics ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/23/2017)... , Feb. 23, 2017  MIODx announced ... for two key immunotherapy technologies from the University ... provides a method to monitor a patient for ... PD-L1 and CTLA-4.  The second license extends the ... patient is likely to have an immune-related adverse ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... Feb. 23, 2017  Seattle,s upscale Capitol Hill neighborhood, with its ... place for a head lice treatment salon to set up ... Tuscan restaurant and a French bistro on E Madison Ave, ... aren,t just any old lice clinic, we pride ourselves on ... and release some of the stigma associated with lice. Everyone ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... , ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... de novo clearance to begin marketing the SPEAC® System, the Brain Sentinel® Seizure ... at home or in healthcare facilities during periods of rest. A lightweight, non-invasive ...
(Date:2/23/2017)... ... February 23, 2017 , ... ... annual Inventors Recognition Reception at Purdue Research Park of West Lafayette, ... in recognition of outstanding contributions to, and success with, commercializing discoveries from Purdue ...
Breaking Biology Technology: