In vitro fermentation of breast milk oligosaccharides by Bifidobacterium infantis and Lactobacillus gasseri

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2006 Jun;72(6):4497-9. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02515-05.


It has been proposed that human milk oligosaccharides (HMO) function as a prebiotic for bifidobacteria, yet this activity has not been adequately investigated. In this study, Bifidobacterium infantis was shown to ferment purified HMO as a sole carbon source, while another gut commensal, Lactobacillus gasseri, did not ferment HMO. Our results support the hypothesis that HMO selectively amplify bacterial populations in the infant intestine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bifidobacterium / metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Humans
  • Lactobacillus / metabolism*
  • Milk, Human / microbiology*
  • Milk, Human / physiology*
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism*


  • Oligosaccharides