Bifidobacteria are commonly used as probiotics, and have been shown to have positive health effects in a number of different applications and environments. Previous work has shown that some Bifidobacterium species, especially B. longum subsp. infantis (B. infantis), are particularly well-adapted to colonizing the breast-fed infant gut environment. Here I describe the development and validation of several methods useful for the study of Bifidobacterium species in various environments, and then describe data obtained using these and other microbial ecology techniques. I identify maternal secretor status as a factor that influences potential colonization of the infant gut by bifidobacteria. I also explore the content of several Bifidobacterium -containing probiotic products which may be used to influence the microbial colonization patterns of the infant gastrointestinal tract. Lastly, I look forward to some of the potentially important future directions for research into the macro-ecology of bifidobacteria (and B. infantis in particular).
|Advisor:||Mills, David A.|
|Commitee:||German, J. Bruce, Lebrilla, Carlito B.|
|School:||University of California, Davis|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-B 77/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Ecology, Microbiology, Nutrition|
|Keywords:||Bifidobacteria, Gastrointestinal tract, Human milk oligosaccharides, Infant, Microbial ecology, Microbiome|
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