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Human milk oligosaccharides: relation with social, environmental and genetic characteristics of the nursing mother, presence of maternal allergic disease and the infant microbiota


The development of the infant intestinal microbiota is strictly related to the kind of feeding. Breastfed infants have a microbial ecosystem characterized by a strong prevalence of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli, whereas bottle-fed infants develop a mixed microbiota with a lower number of bifidobacteria. The scientific literature has shown that a less diverse intestinal microbiota in the firsts months of life, consisting mainly of lactobacilli and bifidobacteria, is directly associated with a lower incidence of diseases, including necrotizing enterocolitis, allergic and infectious diseases and obesity. Data from in vitro studies show that certain human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) play an important prebiotic effect, promoting the development of bifidobacteria. The HMOs composition is related to maternal genetics, although recent experimental studies have shown that maternal dietary and environmental factors may also influence the composition of HMOs. However, the influence of these factors on the HMOs composition in milk is not yet well established. Considering the potential role of the HMOs in the establishment of the infant intestinal microbiota and the diversity of oligosaccharides which may be present in human milk, there is a great interest to verify how the effects demonstrated in vitro are translated to the highly complex environment that is the infant gastrointestinal tract, as well to investigate the maternal variables associated with different HMOs compositions. Therefore, this study will count with the expertise of researchers and laboratory infrastructure of the Escola Paulista de Medicina - Universidade Federal de São Paulo (UNIFESP) to be developed, namely: 1. Laboratory of Food Quality Control, coordinated by Prof. Dr. Tania Beninga de Morais, who has a consistent research line in the study of infant foods; 2. Laboratory of Pediatric Gastroenterology, where research on infant intestinal microbiota are being developed in a laboratory structured with previous FAPESP resources under the coordination of Prof. Dr. Mauro Batista de Morais, 3. National Institute of Pharmacology (INFAR), to which belongs the Department of Biophysics, which has extensive experience in the study of bioactive molecules, being Prof. Dr. Antonio Miranda one of the leaders in the investigations with mass spectrometry, 4. Breastfeeding Encouragement and Support Center (CIAAM), coordinated by Prof. Dr. Ana Cristina Freitas de Vilhena Abrão, which promotes the maintenance of Breastfeeding through the care of nursing mothers and infants and the Human Milk Bank activities. These groups met in this project, which aims to investigate the relationship between human milk oligosaccharides and the genetic and environmental characteristics of the nursing mother, the presence of maternal allergic diseases and the infant intestinal microbiota. The results of this project will contribute to the knowledge of the factors associated with the oligosaccharides synthesis and the influence of specific oligosaccharides on the bacteria establishment in the infant intestinal microbiota. (AU)

Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
TONON, KARINA M.; DE MORAIS, MAURO B.; ABRAO, V, ANA CRISTINA F.; MIRANDA, ANTONIO; MORAIS, TANIA B. Maternal and Infant Factors Associated with Human Milk Oligosaccharides Concentrations According to Secretor and Lewis Phenotypes. NUTRIENTS, v. 11, n. 6 JUN 2019. Web of Science Citations: 3.
TONON, KARINA M.; MIRANDA, ANTONIO; ABRAO, V, ANA CRISTINA F.; DE MORAIS, MAURO B.; MORAIS, TANIA B. Validation and application of a method for the simultaneous absolute quantification of 16 neutral and acidic human milk oligosaccharides by graphitized carbon liquid chromatography - electrospray ionization - mass spectrometry. Food Chemistry, v. 274, p. 691-697, FEB 15 2019. Web of Science Citations: 4.

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