Celiac.com 09/09/2011 - A team of researchers recently set out to assess the effects of milk-feeding behavior and the HLA-DQ genotype on intestinal colonization of Bacteroides species in infants with a risk of developing celiac disease.

The research team included E. Sánchez, G. De Palma, A. Capilla, E. Nova, T. Pozo, G. Castillejo, V. Varea, A. Marcos, J. A. Garrote, I. Polanco, A. López, C. Ribes-Koninckx, M. D. García-Novo, C. Calvo, L. Ortigosa, F. Palau, and Y. Sanz.

They are affiliated with the Ecofisiología Microbiana y Nutrición, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (CSIC) in Valencia, Spain.

appl-env-microbiology--sept-2011The team studied 75 full-term newborns with at least one first-degree relative who suffered from celiac disease. They classified the newborns according to milk-feeding practice (breast-fed or formula fed) and HLA-DQ genotype, which indicates high or low genetic risk.

The team used PCR and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) to analyze stools at 7 days, 1 month, and 4 months. They found that formula-fed infants showed greater Bacteroides species diversity than did breast-fed infants.  Breast-fed infants showed a higher prevalence of Bacteroides uniformis at 1 and 4 months of age, while formula-fed infants had a higher prevalence of B. intestinalis at all sampling times, of B. caccae at 7 days and 4 months, and of B. plebeius at 4 months.

Infants with low genetic risk showed greater colonization of B. ovatus, B. plebeius, and B. uniformis, while those with high genetic risk showed a greater colonization of B. vulgatus.

Among breast-fed infants, those with low genetic risk had greater colonization of B. uniformis than those with high genetic risk, who showed higher rates of B. vulgatus.

Among formula-fed infants, the prevalence of B. ovatus and B. plebeius was increased in those with low genetic risk, while the presence of B. vulgatus was greater in those with high genetic risk.

The results indicate that both the type of milk feeding and the HLA-DQ genotype influence the types of Bacteroides that colonize in the intestinal tract, and possibly also influence risk for developing celiac disease.

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