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New evidence of mother-to-fetus probiotic transfer

New Lacidofil® scientific study awarded at the Canadian Nutrition Society Annual Conference in Montreal


Montreal, Canada – A research study lead by the University of Toronto, Canada, by Dr. Elena Comelli and titled “Mother-to-fetus transfer of probiotic lactobacilli in CD-1 mice during pregnancy”, presented by Ashkan Hashemi, has received the Thematic Conference Abstract Award for Outstanding Research related to the Canadian Nutrition Society (CNS) Thematic Conference by the CNS the at their Annual Conference in Montreal, May 27, 2017. This cutting-edge study provides preliminary evidence that microorganisms, and in particular Lactobacilli, are transferred to the placenta and fetus intestinal tract during pregnancy and that Lacidofil® strains DNA can be detected in the digestive tract of fetus of a mother fed with the probiotic preparation. Researchers suggest that the administration of probiotic bacteria to mothers during pregnancy may be conceived to help combat dysbiosis in newborns associated with early life risk factors, such as preterm birth and C-section delivery. Future research should confirm these preliminary findings.

Lactobacillus Rosell-11 was found to transfer from the mother to placenta and fetus intestine (Electron micrograph courtesy of Dr. S. Smith, Dept. of Food Sc., University of Guelph, Canada)

Research suggests that the fetus is not sterile during pregnancy, as microorganisms have been found in the placenta, umbilical cord, amniotic fluid, fetal membranes as well as meconium from healthy newborns. The new study from University of Toronto1 aimed at investigating whether there is maternal transfer of a Lactobacilli-based probiotic (Lacidofil® – a combination of L. rhamnosus Rosell®-11 and L. helveticus Rosell®-52) to the fetus. It was conducted on pathogen-free mice receiving either sterile water or water with Lacidofil prior to and during gestation.

First author Ashkan Hashemi, explains: “Our results are in line with recent literature as we found bacterial DNA in the placenta and umbilical cord. In addition, we suggest that the fetal intestine is not sterile and Lactobacilli appear to be a predominant genus in this compartment. Interestingly, when the mother received probiotic Lacidofil during gestation, the probiotic strains were found in the placenta and large intestine of the fetus. This is our first study and it is imperative that findings are confirmed by follow-up research before major conclusions can be drawn. Though, these are exciting data for us to build on. “

  • Ashkan Hashemi, Amel Taibi, Sara E. Stinson, Thomas Tompkins, Kathene Johnson-Henry,  Phillip M. Sherman, Elena M. Comelli. Mother to fetus transfer of probiotic lactobacilli in CD-1 mice during pregnancy. Canadian Nutrition Society Annual Conference, May 25-27, 2017, Montreal, Canada