Interactions between food glycans, the gut microbiota and the neonate host

Milk provides a wealth of bioactive factors that shape the composition and function of the developing neonate intestinal microbiota. Understanding how human milk orchestrates this bacterial enrichment is critical to our comprehension of infant health and development but also provides a useful model for diet-based manipulation of the gut microbiota.  Work in my lab seeks to annotate specific host factors provided in milk that influence bacterial enrichment in the neonate gut and examine how different enriched (or introduced) commensal bacteria influence host health.   The goal of this work is to identify genetic and ecological factors that drive beneficial gut microbiota functions in neonates.

Sample publications from this area:

  • Liu, J., D. H. Taft, M. X. Maldonado-Gomez, D. Johnson, M. L. Treiber, D. G. Lemay, E. J. DePeters and D. A. Mills. 2019. The fecal resistome of dairy cattle is associated with diet during nursing. Nature Communications 10:4406. PMC6765000
  • Taft, D. H., L. K. Salinero, K. Vongbhavit, K. M. Kalanetra, C. Masarweh, A. Yu, M. A. Underwood, D. A. Mills.  2019. Bacterial colonization and antimicrobial resistance genes in neonatal enteral feeding tubes.  FEMS Microbial Ecology 95:fiz039. PMC6449222
  • Taft, D. H., J. Liu, M. X. Maldonado-Gomez, S. Akre, M. N. Huda, S.M. Ahmad, C. B. Stephensen and D. A. Mills. 2018. Bifidobacterial dominance of the gut in early life and acquisition of antimicrobial resistance. mSphere. e00441-18.  PMC6158511.
  • Cowardin, C. A., P. P. Ahern, V. L. Kung, M. C. Hibberd, J. Cheng, J. L. Guruge, V. Sundaresan, R. D. Head, D. Barile, D. A. Mills, M. J. Barratt, S. Huqg, T. Ahmed, and J. I. Gordon.  2019. Mechanisms by which sialylated milk oligosaccharides impact bone biology in a gnotobiotic mouse model of infant undernutrition.  PNAS 116:11988-11996.  PMC6575181.
  • Frese, S., A. Hutton, L. Contreras, C. Shaw, M. Palumbo, G. Casaburi, G. Xu, J. Davis, C. Lebrilla, B. Henrick, S. Freeman, D. Barile, J. B. German, D. A. Mills, J. Smilowitz, M. Underwood. 2017. Persistence of supplemented Bifidobacterium longum subsp. infantis EVC001 in breastfed infants. mSphere 2: e00501-17. PMC5717325.
  • Lewis, Z. T., S. M. Totten, J. T. Smilowitz, M. Popovic, E. Parker, D. G. Lemay, M. L. Van Tassell, M. J. Miller, Y. S. Jin, J. B. German, C. B. Lebrilla and D. A. Mills. 2015. Maternal fucosyltransferase 2 status impacts gut bifidobacterial communities of breastfed infants. Microbiome 3:13. PMC4412032.