Human Milk Virome Analysis: Changing Pattern Regarding Mode of Delivery, Birth Weight, and Lactational Stage.

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Dinleyici M., Pérez-Brocal V., Arslanoglu S., Aydemir Ö., Sevuk Ozumut S., Tekin N., ...More

Nutrients, vol.13, no.6, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 13 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.3390/nu13061779
  • Journal Name: Nutrients
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Agricultural & Environmental Science Database, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Keywords: human milk, breastfeeding, viruses, microbiome, delivery mode, INFANT GUT MICROBIOTA, BACTERIAL MICROBIOME, GESTATIONAL-AGE, COMMUNITIES, LENGTH
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


The human milk (HM) microbiota is a significant source of microbes that colonize the infant gut early in life. The aim of this study was to compare transient and mature HM virome compositions, and also possible changes related to the mode of delivery, gestational age, and weight for gestational age. Overall, in the 81 samples analyzed in this study, reads matching bacteriophages accounted for 79.5% (mainly Podoviridae, Myoviridae, and Siphoviridae) of the reads, far more abundant than those classified as eukaryotic viruses (20.5%, mainly Herpesviridae). In the whole study group of transient human milk, the most abundant families were Podoviridae and Myoviridae. In mature human milk, Podoviridae decreased, and Siphoviridae became the most abundant family. Bacteriophages were predominant in transient HM samples (98.4% in the normal spontaneous vaginal delivery group, 92.1% in the premature group, 89.9% in the C-section group, and 68.3% in the large for gestational age group), except in the small for gestational age group (only similar to 45% bacteriophages in transient HM samples). Bacteriophages were also predominant in mature HM; however, they were lower in mature HM than in transient HM (71.7% in the normal spontaneous vaginal delivery group, 60.8% in the C-section group, 56% in the premature group, and 80.6% in the large for gestational age group). Bacteriophages still represented 45% of mature HM in the small for gestational age group. In the transient HM of the normal spontaneous vaginal delivery group, the most abundant family was Podoviridae; however, in mature HM, Podoviridae became less prominent than Siphoviridae. Myoviridae was predominant in both transient and mature HM in the premature group (all C-section), and Podoviridae was predominant in transient HM, while Siphoviridae and Herpesviridae were predominant in mature HM. In the small for gestational age group, the most abundant taxa in transient HM were the family Herpesviridae and a species of the genus Roseolovirus. Bacteriophages constituted the major component of the HM virome, and we showed changes regarding the lactation period, preterm birth, delivery mode, and birth weight. Early in life, the HM virome may influence the composition of an infant's gut microbiome, which could have short- and long-term health implications. Further longitudinal mother-newborn pair studies are required to understand the effects of these variations on the composition of the HM and the infant gut virome.