In comparison to previous studies where human milk was expressed from an aseptic breast [13–20], Eltanexor cell line the current method determines the total microbiome (i.e. metagenome) ingested by the infant (from a non-sterilized breast), indicative of what an infant would receive from its mother during suckling. Because our samples were collected from a non-sterilized breast,
it could be hypothesized the human milk metagenome reported here would be similar to that of the skin microbiome. Although no reference database was freely available within MG-RAST for comparison, the metagenome of human milk is similar to previously reported skin profiles in that there is a large proportion of Staphylococcus, which is found in moist areas of skin. These moist areas, such as the antecubital fossa (inner fold of the elbow), also contain Betaproteobacteria, such as Burkholderia and Bordetella, which are present in the milk metagenome (Figure 2[32, 33]). The human milk metagenome
is also similar to drier areas of the skin such as the plantar heel, which contains Gamaproteobacteria such as Pseudomonas. The human milk metagenome is, however, more similar to fecal microbiomes (as described in 16S rRNA studies) due to the large proportion of Firmicutes bacteria within human milk, which is a very minor member of the skin microbiome PD0332991 concentration (Figure 4, [32, 33]). Also, the skin of adults tends to contain a high level of Propionibacteria, which notably tends to Oxymatrine colonize the skin of cesarean-section birthed babies, whereas this genus is minimally represented in our human
milk sample using a best hit analysis of the 51 bp Illumina reads (0.2%, Additional file 2, [34, 35]). This observation suggests that mother’s milk may prove useful as a skin lotion, to re-balance the skin microbiome of C-section babies. Phylogenetic differences between human milk and feces Comparing the metagenome of human milk to that of publicly available infants’ and mothers’ fecal profiles provides insight as to how human milk may lead to proper colonization of the infant gut. When comparing the human milk metagenome to the infant fecal metagenome, there are numerous differences. For example, the metagenome of BF-infants’ feces contains a high proportion of Actinobacteria (70.4%, Figure 4), which correlates with previous studies demonstrating a high abundance of Bifidobacterium in the feces of BF-infants whereas FF-infants had a more varied microbiota [6, 31, 36]. Contigs from human milk, however, aligned mostly with Proteobacteria and Firmicutes (65.1% and 34.6%, respectively, Figure 4). At the phylum level, the present milk metagenome was less diverse than the fecal metagenomes as over 99% of the contigs were from just two phyla, Proteobacteria and Firmicutes (Figure 4). FF-infants’ feces and mothers’ feces were similar in that they both MK-4827 chemical structure contained contigs aligning to the phylum Bacteroidetes (17.6% and 20.