Influence of Bactrian camel milk on the gut microbiota

J Dairy Sci. 2018 Jul;101(7):5758-5769. doi: 10.3168/jds.2017-13860. Epub 2018 Apr 26.


Bactrian camel milk has become popular in the market as an important source of nutrients with diverse functional effects. In this study, the influence of Bactrian camel milk on the gut microbiota of mice was studied using metagenomic-based sequencing of the V3 and V4 hypervariable regions of the 16S rRNA gene. Bioinformatics analysis showed that Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes were the predominant phyla, accounting for more than 80% of the bacteria present. At the genus level, Allobaculum, Akkermansia, Romboutsia, Bifidobacterium, and Lactobacillus were most abundant in the gut microbiota; of these, Allobaculum and Akkermansia were the predominant genera, representing 40.42 and 7.85% of all the bacteria present, respectively. Camel milk was found to reduce relative abundance of Romboutsia, Lactobacillus, Turicibacter, and Desulfovibrio (decreased by 50.88, 34.78, 26.67, and 54.55%, respectively) in the gut microbiota compared with the control. However, some genera such as Allobaculum, Akkermansia, and Bifidobacterium in the gastrointestinal flora increased in abundance in the presence of camel milk; these genera are correlated with beneficial effects for organisms. Our research suggests that the gut microbiota should be taken into account when conducting functional studies on camel milk, and this work provides a useful foundation for further study on functions of camel milk.

Keywords: camel milk; gut microbiome; high-throughput sequencing; probiotic.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bifidobacterium
  • Camelus*
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Milk / metabolism*
  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S


  • RNA, Ribosomal, 16S