Bifidobacteria is a key marker of a healthy gut flora in infants. A Brazilian study of 49 newborns — 24 full-term and 25 pre-term (31.2 weeks) — explored the prevalence and concentration of bifidobacteria in stools of one-month-old newborns using qPCR.

Bifidobacterium genus and B. longum species were present in all stool samples at one month of age. Counts were higher in full-term (8.3 log cells/g) than in pre-term (7.1), and prevalence of other species were different. Counts of B. longum species were also higher after vaginal (8.5) than after caesarean (6.9) delivery in full-term newborns.

The authors concluded that gestational age might influence bacterial numbers and species in a broad way, while mode of delivery might impact bifidobacteria specifically. They suggest that specific probiotics may compensate for the lower amount of bifidobacteria in some newborns.

Reference:

Łukasz Grześkowiaka, et al.
Gut Bifidobacterium microbiota in one-month-old Brazilian newborns.
Anaerobe. Volume 35, Part B, October 2015, Pages 54–58. doi:10.1016/j.anaerobe.2015.07.004

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