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Influence of Maternal Bifidobacteria on the Development of Gut Bifidobacteria in Infants

Author(s): Katsunaka Mikami | Moto Kimura | Hedenori Takahashi

Journal: Pharmaceuticals
ISSN 1424-8247

Volume: 5;
Issue: 6;
Start page: 629;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: bifidobacteria | mother | infant | transmission

Intestinal microbiota plays an important role in human health by influencing metabolic activities that result in the creation of energy and absorbable nutrients, a barrier to the colonization of pathogens, and stimulation of the immune system. The development of fecal microbiota in neonates is crucial because those bacteria are the first to colonize the sterile intestine of the neonates and, thus, have a significant effect on the host. Initial colonization is also relevant to the final composition of the permanent microbiota in adults. Bifidobacteria are predominant in the fecal microbiota of infants, and, therefore, they are important to an understanding of how commensal bifidobacteria is established in the intestine of infants. While the mother’s bifidobacteria are considered to significantly influence the infant’s bifidobacteria, it is not clear whether a specific bifidobacterial strain transmits vertically from mother to infant and what factors of the mother before delivery influence the establishment of intestinal bifidobacteria in infants. This review focuses on the impact of maternal bifidobacteria on the development of gut bifidobacteria in the infant and suggests that there is cumulative evidence regarding bifidobacterial transfer from the maternal gut or breast milk to the infant gut.
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