Cell Host Microbe 25, 324–335 (2019)

The composition of the breast milk microbiome is influenced by both maternal factors and the child’s oral microbiome.

Credit: STEVE GSCHMEISSNER/Science Source

The breast milk microbiome is known to contribute to colonization of the infant gut microbiome and hence to have a role in health in later life.

To investigate the factors that influence the composition of the human microbiome, a group of Canadian scientists studied 393 pairs of infants and mothers from the CHILD cohort study. They found that the composition of breast milk was influenced by maternal factors, such as body mass index and breast-feeding practices. Their data also support that the infant oral cavity reciprocally influences the milk microbiome.