Bifidobacteria are a major microbial component of infant gut microbiota, which is believed to promote health benefits for the host and stimulate maturation of the immune system. Despite their perceived importance, very little is known about the natural development of and possible correlations between bifidobacteria in human populations. Analyzing a large cohort of 87 mothers and infants we found a highly structured age-related development of, and correlation-networks between, bifidobacterial species during the first two years of life. We believe this mirrors their different or competing nutritional requirements, which in turn may be associated with specific biological functions in the development of healthy gut.
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