Author(s): GurinDanan C, Andrieux C, Popot F, Charpilienne A, Vaissade P,
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Abstract BACKGROUND: From 5 months of age, infants are progressively introduced to a variety of foods which influence the equilibrium of the intestinal microflora. METHODS: Thirty-five children age 10-18 months from 8 day care centers in France were studied. Fecal specimens were examined for their biochemical and microbiological criteria. RESULTS: Bifidobacteria and Bacteroides belong to the predominant populations (9.7 and 8.6 log 10 cfu/g, respectively). The mean level of enterobacteria and enterococci were 8.0 and 7.8 log 10 cfu/g, respectively. Only 10\% of the infants presented a lactobacilli amount above 6 log 10 cfu/g. Most feces had similar pH values (mean 6.4), percentage of water (mean 76.4\%), and short chain fatty acid, ammonia and lactic acid concentrations (means 77, 6.7 and 2.3 mumol/g, respectively). beta-galactosidase had the highest activity (106 IU/g of protein) and nitroreductase, the lowest (0.1 IU/g of protein). alpha-glucosidase and nitrate reductase showed intermediate values of 17 and 4 IU/g of protein, respectively. With the exception of 4 infants, beta-glucosidase and beta-glucuronidase values were low (4 and 2 IU/g of protein). Age and day care center were not significant factors for most parameters studied, except that rotavirus was related to day care center, with detection in 5 infants from the same center. CONCLUSIONS: Many biochemical parameters were comparable to those found in adults, with the exception of ammonia concentration and beta-galactosidase activity. The fecal bacterial profile was different than in adults, with more Bifidobacteria than Bacteroides and higher levels of facultative anaerobes. One infant suffering from gastroenteritis had distinctive biochemical and bacterial parameters.
This article was published in J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology