Human milk has been traditionally considered germ free, however, recent studies have shown that it represents a continuous supply of commensal and potentially probiotic bacteria to the infant gut. Mammary microbioma may exercise anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and metabolic properties. Moreover human milk may be a source of pathogenic microorganism during maternal infection, if contaminated during expression or in case of vaccination of the mother. The non-sterility of breast milk can, thus, be seen as a protective factor, or rarely, as a risk factor for the newborn.
- Expressed breast milk
- Human milk
- Infectious disease transmission
- Mammary microbiota
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynaecology