Research ArticleGUT MICROBIOTA

Breast-fed and bottle-fed infant rhesus macaques develop distinct gut microbiotas and immune systems

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Science Translational Medicine  03 Sep 2014:
Vol. 6, Issue 252, pp. 252ra120
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008791

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Diet and the Infant Gut Microbiota

Diet has a strong influence on the microbes living in the intestine. Furthermore, microbial colonization of the gut is required for normal development of the immune system. Nonetheless, it has been unclear how profoundly diet might shape the primate immune system or how durable the influence might be. Ardeshir et al. now demonstrate that breast-fed and bottle-fed infant macaques develop markedly different immune systems, which remain different for at least 6 months after the animals begin receiving identical diets. These findings may partly explain the variation in human susceptibility to conditions with an immune basis, as well as the variable protection against certain infectious diseases.