Hexachlorocyclohexane exposure alters the microbiome of colostrum in Chinese breastfeeding mothers.

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PubMed ID: 31394347

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Tang M, Xu C, Chen K, Yan Q, Mao W, Liu W, Ritz B

Environ Pollut. Jul 2019

COMMENT: This work is focused on the possible associations between environmental pollutants and the microbial composition of human colostrum studying the influence of hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH), measured via gas chromatography, in the microbial composition of human colostrum samples using a 16S-based taxonomic profiling approach.

The authors conclude that HCH level is associated with microbial diversity and with the abundance of some types of bacteria probably related with their capabilities for degrading HCH.

We predominantly identified Proteobacteria (67.6%) and Firmicutes (25.1%) in colostrum and microbial diversity at the genus level differed between samples with different HCH levels; e.g., Pseudomonas which contains several HCH degrading strains was found in significantly higher abundance in γ-HCH rich samples. Also, microbes that were statistically significantly associated with HCH levels were also highly correlated with each other (false discovery rate (FDR)<0.01) and clustered in network analysis. Microbial diversity is associated with HCH levels in human colostrum and these associations might be attributable to their HCH degrading ability. These finding provide first insights into the role that environmental persistent pollutants may play in the microbial composition of human colostrum and the colonization of the infant gut


Raquel Tobes