by Giada De Palma, Amalia Capilla, Esther Nova, Gemma Castillejo, Vicente Varea, Tamara Pozo, José Antonio Garrote, Isabel Polanco, Ana López, Carmen Ribes-Koninckx, Ascensión Marcos, María Dolores García-Novo, Carmen Calvo, Luis Ortigosa, Luis Peña-Quintana, Francesc Palau, Yolanda Sanz
Interactions between environmental factors and predisposing genes could be involved in the development of coeliac disease (CD). This study has assessed whether milk-feeding type and HLA-genotype influence the intestinal microbiota composition of infants with a family history of CD. The study included 164 healthy newborns, with at least one first-degree relative with CD, classified according to their HLA-DQ genotype by PCR-SSP DQB1 and DQA1 typing. Faecal microbiota was analysed by quantitative PCR at 7 days, and at 1 and 4 months of age. Significant interactions between milk-feeding type and HLA-DQ genotype on bacterial numbers were not detected by applying a linear mixed-model analysis for repeated measures. In the whole population, breast-feeding promoted colonization of C. leptum group, B. longum and B. breve, while formula-feeding promoted that of Bacteroides fragilis group, C. coccoides-E. rectale group, E. coli and B. lactis. Moreover, increased numbers of B. fragilis group and Staphylococcus spp., and reduced numbers of Bifidobacterium spp. and B. longum were detected in infants with increased genetic risk of developing CD. Analyses within subgroups of either breast-fed or formula-fed infants indicated that in both cases increased risk of CD was associated with lower numbers of B. longum and/or Bifidobacterium spp. In addition, in breast-fed infants the increased genetic risk of developing CD was associated with increased C. leptum group numbers, while in formula-fed infants it was associated with increased Staphylococcus and B. fragilis group numbers. Overall, milk-feeding type in conjunction with HLA-DQ genotype play a role in establishing infants' gut microbiota; moreover, breast-feeding reduced the genotype-related differences in microbiota composition, which could partly explain the protective role attributed to breast milk in this disorder.