Physiological Translocation of Lactic Acid Bacteria during Pregnancy Contributes to the Composition of the Milk Microbiota in Mice

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The human milk microbiota is a complex and diverse ecosystem that seems to play a relevant role in the mother-to-infant transmission of microorganisms during early life. Bacteria present in human milk may arise from different sources, and recent studies suggest that at least some of them may be originally present in the maternal digestive tract and may reach the mammary gland through an endogenous route during pregnancy and lactation. The objective of this work was to elucidate whether some lactic acid bacteria are able to translocate and colonize the mammary gland and milk. For this purpose, two lactic acid bacteria strains (Lactococcus lactis MG1614 and Lactobacillus salivarius PS2) were transformed with a plasmid containing the lux genes; subsequently, the transformed strains were orally administered to pregnant mice. The murine model allowed the visualization, isolation, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)-detection of the transformed bacteria in different body locations, including mammary tissue and milk, reinforcing the hypothesis that physiological translocation of maternal bacteria during pregnancy and lactation may contribute to the composition of the mammary and milk microbiota.
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