We are pleased to announce that a successful collaboration between glyXera, ETH Zurich, and Danone Nutricia Research resulted in the publication of a research article in the journal Gut Microbes titled “Gut microbiome function and composition in infants from rural Kenya and association with human milk oligosaccharides”.

The human gut microbiome evolves rapidly after birth in response to various host and environmental factors. Its composition and function affect the short- and long-term health. Human milk (HM) provides the optimal balance of nutrients for breastfed infants and contains various bioactive compounds, including secretory IgA, antimicrobial factors, and human milk oligosaccharides (HMOS), which can be metabolized by various gut bacteria. HM is the prime example of a highly adapted, yet dynamic, and personalized process to support human postnatal development.

To examine the influence of HM on the composition, function, and variability of the gut microbiome a multicenter study was conducted on infants weaned between 6 and 11 months after birth in Msambweni and wider Kwale County in Kenya.

glyXera was tasked with quantitatively analyzing the HM samples using our high-performance multiplexed capillary gel electrophoresis analysis system glyXboxCE utilizing an internal quantification standard. The samples were classified into one of the four known HM groups on the basis of secretor and Lewis polymorphisms. The HM classification and HMOS quantification was performed to investigate the relationship between individual HMOS and the maternal genetic predisposition and its subsequent effect via breastfeeding on the early childhood gut microbiome development.

The HM classification showed that the prevalence of HM group III was significantly higher compared to results of comparable cohorts in Europe by a factor of up to 3. The study confirmed that the HMOS compositions strongly depend on maternal genetics. Furthermore, our results suggest that associations between HMOS and gut microbiota may be population specific.

The article is published open access and can be read in full on the publication web page: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19490976.2023.2178793

If you would like to learn more about glyXera’s high-performance glycan analysis technologies and their applications to research, analysis of natural occurring and synthetic glycans, or biomarker discovery, please feel free to get in touch.