The Influence of FUT2 and FUT3 Polymorphisms and Nasopharyngeal Microbiome on Respiratory Infections in Breastfed Bangladeshi Infants from the Microbiota and Health Study

schedule 67 min read
Topic(s): Growth & Development Gut Microbiota

 Acute respiratory infections in breastfed infants.PNG

Download Graphical Abstract


Acute respiratory infections (ARI) are one of the most common causes of morbidity and mortality in young children. By studying 240 Bangladeshi mother-infant pairs, it was observed that, while the community of microbes present in the nasopharynges of infants was not associated with later onset of ARI, maternal genetic polymorphisms on a gene involved in shaping the composition of human breast milk influences the occurrence of ARIs. This gene is involved in the addition of a sugar (fucose) on human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs), one of the key components of breast milk. This study supports the hypothesis that the presence of alpha-1,2-fucosylated HMO structures relate to a lower risk of ARI in the first 6 months of life. This study offers important novel insights into the protective role of fucosylated HMOs against respiratory infections in exclusively or predominantly breastfed infants in low resource settings.


Binia A, Siegwald L, Sultana S, Shevlyakova M, Lefebvre G, Foata F, Combremont S, Charpagne A, Vidal K, Sprenger N, Rahman M, Palleja A, Eklund AC, Nielsen HB, Brüssow H, Sarker SA, Sakwinska O. 2021. The influence of FUT2 and FUT3 polymorphisms and nasopharyngeal microbiome on respiratory infections in breastfed Bangladeshi infants from the Microbiota and Health Study.