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Fallani M, Amarri S, Uusijarvi A, Adam R, Khanna S, Aguilera M et al.. Determinants of the human infant intestinal microbiota after the introduction of first complementary foods in infant samples from five European centres. Microbiol Read Engl 157: 1385-1392

Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Unité d'Écologie et de Physiologie du Système Digestif, Jouy en Josas, France.
Microbiology (Impact Factor: 2.56). 02/2011; 157(Pt 5):1385-92. DOI: 10.1099/mic.0.042143-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT

Although it is well established that early infant feeding has a major influence on the establishment of the gut microbiota, very little is understood about how the introduction of first solid food influences the colonization process. This study aimed to determine the impact of weaning on the faecal microbiota composition of infants from five European countries (Sweden, Scotland, Germany, Italy and Spain) which have different lifestyle characteristics and infant feeding practices. Faecal samples were collected from 605 infants approximately 4 weeks after the introduction of first solid foods and the results were compared with the same infants before weaning (6 weeks of age) to investigate the association with determining factors such as geographical origin, mode of delivery, previous feeding method and age of weaning. Samples were analysed by fluorescence in situ hybridization and flow cytometry using a panel of 10 rRNA targeted group- and species-specific oligonucleotide probes. The genus Bifidobacterium (36.5 % average proportion of total detectable bacteria), Clostridium coccoides group (14 %) and Bacteroides (13.6 %) were predominant after weaning. Similar to pre-weaning, northern European countries were associated with a higher proportion of bifidobacteria in the infant gut microbiota while higher levels of Bacteroides and lactobacilli characterized southern European countries. As before weaning, the initial feeding method influenced the Clostridium leptum group and Clostridium difficile+Clostridium perfringens species, and bifidobacteria still dominated the faeces of initially breast-fed infants. Formula-fed babies presented significantly higher proportions of Bacteroides and the C. coccoides group. The mode of birth influenced changes in the proportions of bacteroides and atopobium. Although there were significant differences in the mean weaning age between countries, this was not related to the populations of bifidobacteria or bacteroides. Thus, although the faecal microbiota of infants after first complementary foods was different to that before weaning commenced, many of the initial influences on microbiota composition were still evident.

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    • "The goal was to investigate whether freeze drying produced any systematic bias in the detected relative abundance of different bacterial taxa. As expected for mostly breast-fed infants of approximately 1 year of age, the bacterial communities in these infants was dominated by bifidobacteria and Bacteriodes, with an appreciable presence of Lachnospiraceae (Fallani et al., 2011;Azad et al., 2013;Bergström et al., 2014). While the ANOSIM results showed that the variation in community structure between conditions was much lower than the variation between infants, there were some differences between freeze-dried and wet feces. "
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    • "The transition from a milk-based to a solids-based diet exposes infants to novel non-digestible plant carbohydrates, animal protein, and fats providing new substrates for the survival and dominance of bacterial species not supported by breastmilk and/or formula (Parrett and Edwards, 1997; Fallani et al., 2011). Introduction of solid foods has been associated with increased populations of Bacteroides (Koenig et al., 2011) and decreased populations of bifidobacteria , enterobacteria, and some Clostridium species (Fallani et al., 2011). In older children and adults, dietary composition, particularly the balance between carbohydrates and protein/animal fat, is associated with microbiome changes with greater Bacteroides abundance associated with diets higher in protein and animal fat and Prevotella abundance associated with greater carbohydrate intake relative to meat and dairy (De Filippo et al., 2010; Wu et al., 2011). "
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