Article Type

Original Study


Background Composition of early gut microbiome changes in breast-fed and formula-fed infants as solids foods are introduced into their diet. Objective This study aims to investigate the stratified of easily culturable indigenous Lactobacillus spp. with probiotic potentials in infant faecal specimens. Participants and methods Questionnaires were administered on 41 healthy and well-nourished neonates and infants between 1.5 and 11 months of age through their mothers. Isolated bacterial florae were identified using standard phenotypic cultural and taxonomic procedures and tools. Results Most of the infants were fed on breast milk and industrial baby cereal foods; however, more male babies (seven) were exclusively breast-fed than female babies (two). The pH range of the infantile faecal specimens was 4.8–5.9, but the enumerated viable counts as colony-forming units were between 1.1 × 103 and 7.2 × 103 cfu g-1. No lactobacilli were isolated from 39% faecal specimens of 4–16 days old infants, but there were higher recovery rates of Lactobacillus strains from faecal specimens of older (5–11 months) infants. Diversity of isolated 151 Lactobacillus strains included one or more different phenotypes characterized as Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus bifidus, Lactobacillus brevis, Lactobacillus casei, Lactobacillus plantarum and Lactobacillus reuteri. The overall most-prevalent Lactobacillus strains were L. reuteri (46.4%), L. casei (23.2%) and L. acidophilus (19.9%), whereas L. bifidus (7.28%), L. brevis (1.99%) although L. plantarum (1.32%) were isolated from faecal specimens of healthy infants above 5 months of age. L. acidophilus (32.5%), L. casei (26.0%), L. reuteri (31.2%) vs. L. casei (20.0%) and L. reuteri (62.7%) were the most-prevalent phenotypes from female and male babies, respectively. Conclusion Diet-dependent Lactobacillus spp., which reflected rich indigenous infantile bacterial consortium, were recoverable from faeces of less than 12-month-old breast milk-fed and industrial cereal-fed, healthy Nigerian infants without antibiotherapy.