The role of bifidobacteria in newborn health and the intestinal microbial balance

Mazzola, Giuseppe (2015) The role of bifidobacteria in newborn health and the intestinal microbial balance, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie agrarie, ambientali e alimentari, 27 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/6832.
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Gut microbial acquisition during the early stage of life is an extremely important event since it affects the health status of the host. In this contest the healthy properties of the genus Bifidobacterium have a central function in newborns. The aim of this thesis was to explore the dynamics of the gut microbial colonization in newborns and to suggest possible strategies to maintain or restore a correct balance of gut bacterial population in infants. The first step of this work was to review the most recent studies on the use of probiotics and prebiotics in infants. Secondly, in order to prevent or treat intestinal disorders that may affect newborns, the capability of selected Bifidobacterium strains to reduce the amount of Enterobacteriaceae and against the infant pathogen Streptococcus agalactiae was evaluated in vitro. Furthermore, the ability of several commercial fibers to stimulate selectively the growth of bifidobacterial strains was checked. Finally, the gut microbial composition in the early stage of life in response to the intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis (IAP) against group B Streptococcus was studied using q-PCR, DGGE and next generation sequencing. The results globally showed that Bifidobacterium breve B632 strain is the best candidate for the use in a synbiotic product coupled to a mixture of two selected prebiotic fibers (galactooligosaccharides and fructooligosaccharides) for gastrointestinal disorders in infants. Moreover, the early gut microbial composition was affected by IAP treatment with infants showing lower counts of Bifidobacterium spp. and Bacteroides spp. coupled to a decrement of biodiversity of bacteria, compared to control infants. These studies have shown that IAP could affect the early intestinal balance in infants and they have paved the way to the definition of new strategies alternative to antibiotic treatment to control GBS infection in pregnant women.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Mazzola, Giuseppe
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze agrarie
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Gut microbiota, Bifidobacterium, probiotics, prebiotics, q-PCR, DGGE, next generation sequencing, GBS infection.
Data di discussione
8 Maggio 2015

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