Infants are exposed to human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) already in utero

Monday, Mar 11, 2019

This is the first study to find that human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) is present in amniotic fluid and that the fetus is exposed to HMOs in utero already.

Reference:

Wise A, Robertson B, Choudhury B, Rautava S, Isolauri E, Salminen S, Bode L. Infants are exposed to human milk oligosaccharides already in utero. Front Pediatr. 2018;6:270.
Link to the full article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6176122/
 

Other online article that you might be interested in:

Literature Library – Human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) and immunity development

Background

  • HMOs are complex carbohydrates found in high abundance in human milk, which have prebiotic, antimicrobial and antiadhesive effects that contribute to shape the infant gut microbiome and modify immune system responses. There is evidence suggesting the exposure to HMOs in the postnatal period may impact positively on infant health and development
  • This study aimed to determine whether HMOs can also be found in amniotic fluid during the pregnancy stage

 

Method

  • 48 pregnant women were enrolled and the below were collected
    • Urine before delivery (n = 48)
    • Human milk 4 days after birth  (n = 48)
    • Amniotic fluid during planned c-section or after spontaneous rupture of membrane (n = 8)
      • HMOs from these 8 samples were isolated by solid phase extraction chromatography and analysed

 

Key Findings

  • The below 4 HMOs were identified in human milk, maternal urine, as well as amniotic fluid in differing concentration between these sample types
    • 2’-fucosyllactose (2’-FL), 3-fucosyllactose (3-FL), difucosyllactose (DFLac), 6’-sialyllactose (6’-SL)
  • On average, 2’-FL was the dominant HMO in all three sample types

 

Conclusion

  • This is the first report to show that HMOs are present in amniotic fluid and that the fetus is exposed to HMOs in utero already

 

Implication

  • HMO effects have been described for after birth, and with findings from this study, it suggests HMOs can also possibly act as prebiotics, helping to shape the amniotic fluid microbiome and optimising the environment
  • They may also serve as antimicrobials and antiadhesives to help fight infections and inflammation, with the possibility to reduce the risk of preterm delivery


WYE-EM-393-OCT-18

Latest Articles

Academic Activities

Scientific symposium – Critical connectivity: Assessing and supporting the development of brain and behaviour

Chairperson:

  • Dr Henry Au Yeung Cheuk-lun (Hong Kong)
Speakers:
  • Professor Weili Lin (USA)
  • Dr Daniel Chiu Cheung-shing (Hong Kong)
  • Dr Fanny Lam Wai-fan (Hong Kong)

The 28th International Congress of Pediatrics (IPA) (NEW!)

17-22 August 2016, Vancouver, Canada

Science Updates

Deciphering the antibacterial properties of human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) (NEW!)

The authors have identified several HMOs with potent antimicrobial activity against the pathogen Group B Steptococcus, and uncovered the mechanism of action of HMO antimicrobial activity such as by increasing bacterial cell permeability.

Resources

Picky Eating eBook

Practical tips to overcome picky eating behaviours by Kate Di Prima, an accredited practicing dietitian specializing in Paediatrics and a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia. 

Growth Charts

The WHO Child Growth Standards were developed using data collected in the WHO Multicentre Growth Reference Study (MGRS)1.