Is breast milk microbiota related to the development of celiac disease?

Is breast milk microbiota related to the development of celiac disease?

The exact mechanisms behind the development of autoimmune diseases are not known. There is much to discover and many different factors are involved. Very important is to understand these mechanisms in children. For this kind of information international longitudinal birth cohort studies are needed. Our paper was part of the DIABIMMUNE Study (supported by EU 7th FP). The general aim of the DIABIMMUNE Study was to investigate the role of early-stage external and internal environment in the development of childhood autoimmune diseases (including type 1 diabetes and celiac disease) and allergy.

Our aim was to characterize breast milk microbiota composition and its possible relationship with some immunological markers (TGF-β1, TGF-β2, sIgA, MFG-E8, and sCD14) in mothers whose offspring presented or did not present celiac disease during the first 3 years of life. By our best knowledge before our study there was only one article published about breast milk microbiota in relation to celiac disease development (Benítez-Páez A et al. Front Microbiol. 2020). No similar studies about relationship of breast milk microbiota and immunological markers haven’t been published.

We found that the breast milk microbiota of mothers of children who developed celiac disease differed in terms of higher bacterial phylotype abundance (celiac disease group vs controls p = 0.016) and diversity (celiac disease group vs controls p = 0.008), as well as in relation to bacterial composition when compared to the mothers of unaffected children. The immunological markers were also differently associated with bacterial composition (Figure).

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