A comparison of two probiotic strains of bifidobacteria in premature infants

Mark Underwood, Karen M. Kalanetra, Nicholas A. Bokulich, Zachery T. Lewis, Majid Mirmiran, Daniel J Tancredi, David A. Mills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

80 Scopus citations


Objective To determine the impact of 2 probiotic bifidobacteria on the fecal microbiota of premature infants fed either human milk or formula. Study design In the first of two phase 1 clinical trials, 12 premature infants receiving formula feedings were assigned randomly to receive either Bifidobacterium longum ssp infantis or Bifidobacterium animalis ssp lactis in increasing doses during a 5-week period. In the second, 9 premature infants receiving their mother's milk received each of the two bifidobacteria for 2 weeks separated by a 1-week washout period. Serial stool specimens from each infant were analyzed by terminal restriction fragment-length polymorphism and quantitative polymerase chain reaction for bacterial composition. Results Among the formula-fed infants, there was a greater increase in fecal bifidobacteria among infants receiving B infantis (Binf) than those receiving B lactis (Blac). This difference was most marked at a dose of 1.4 × 109 colony-forming units twice daily (P <.05). Bacterial diversity improved over dose/time in those infants receiving Binf. Among the human milk-fed infants, greater increases in fecal bifidobacteria and decreases in γ- Proteobacteria followed the administration of Binf than Blac. The B longum group (which includes Binf but not Blac) was the dominant bifidobacteria among the human milk-fed infants, regardless of the probiotic administered. Conclusions Binf was more effective at colonizing the fecal microbiota than Blac in both formula-fed and human milk-fed premature infants. The combination of human milk plus Binf resulted in the greatest fecal levels of bifidobacteria.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'A comparison of two probiotic strains of bifidobacteria in premature infants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this