Effect of lactose on gut microbiota and metabolome of infants with cow's milk allergy

Ruggiero Francavilla, Maria Calasso, Laura Calace, Sonya Siragusa, Maurice Ndagijimana, Pamela Vernocchi, Luigia Brunetti, Giuseppe Mancino, Giuseppe Tedeschi, Elisabetta Guerzoni, Flavia Indrio, Luca Laghi, Vito L. Miniello, Marco Gobbetti, Maria De Angelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Allergic infants have an unusual gastrointestinal microbiota with low numbers of Bifidobacterium/Lactobacilli and high levels of Clostridium, staphylococci and Escherichia coli. Hydrolyzed formula used to treat these infants is deprived of lactose that instead may influence the gut microbial composition. The aim of the present study is to investigate the influence of lactose on the composition of the gut microbiota and metabolome of infants with cow's milk allergy. Infants prospectively enrolled received an extensively hydrolyzed formula with no lactose for 2months followed by an identical lactose-containing formula for an additional 2months. Healthy, age-gender-matched infants were used as controls. The following determinations were performed before and after the introduction of lactose in the diet: enumeration of cells present in the feces using FISH, counts of viable bacterial cells and gas-chromatography mass spectrometry/solid-phase microextraction analysis. The addition of lactose to the diet significantly increases the counts of Bifidobacteria and lactic acid bacteria (p

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)420-427
Number of pages8
JournalPediatric Allergy and Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2012


  • Cow's milk allergy
  • Infants
  • Lactose
  • Metabolome
  • Microbiota
  • Prebiotic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Immunology


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