Prolacta Bioscience highlights link between human milk oligosaccharides and infant gut microbe

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Offers proof of concept that a human milk-based synbiotic could allow therapeutic manipulation of the gut microbiome

Demonstrating its commitment to Advancing the Science of Human Milk, US-based Prolacta Bioscience has announced that Cell Host & Microbe has published a proof-of-concept study evaluating the unique relationship between human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and the infant gut microbe Bifidobacterium longum subspecies infantis (B. infantis) to control B. infantis engraftment into the adult gut microbiome.

In the publication “Dosing a Synbiotic of Human Milk Oligosaccharides and B. infantis Leads to Reversible Engraftment in Healthy Adult Microbiomes Without Antibiotics,” scientists report that in healthy adult subjects, simultaneous ingestion of a combination of human milk-derived HMOs and B. infantis results in high-level, controllable, HMO-dependent engraftment of B. infantis.

This is the first time that a change to the microbiome was introduced, maintained at a high level independent from the bacterial inoculum, and then reversed in healthy adult subjects, without the use of antibiotics.

Julie Button, Ph.D., lead researcher, said “As the first study of its kind, our work opens the door to the development of new therapies for diseases linked to gut microbe imbalances.” 

The findings may open the door to the development of live biotherapeutic products (LBPs) that reconstitute the gut microbiome when it has been damaged or is out of balance as seen in numerous diseases, including diabetes and Crohn’s disease. 

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