Bifidobacterium bifidum

Bifidobacterium bifidum (B. bifidum) is another significant member of the Bifidobacteria family and plays a relevant role in the microbiome of infants. Unlike some other Bifidobacteria species, B. bifidum has a remarkable ability to break down complex carbohydrates like mucopolysaccharides found in the intestinal mucosa. By breaking down these mucopolysaccharides, they can settle near the intestinal mucosa and potentially offer a protective mechanism against pathogenic microorganisms.

Compared to other Bifidobacteria like B. longum and B. breve, which specialize more in plant fibers or Human Milk Oligosaccharides (HMO), B. bifidum has a unique niche in the microbiome due to its ability to utilize mucus substrates. This specialization may give it an advantage in colonizing the infant gut, especially in the early stages of life when the gut is not yet fully developed and mucus represents a more significant food source.

In the microbiome of infants, the presence of B. bifidum can therefore be particularly beneficial. It not only supports the digestion and utilization of specific carbohydrates but may also contribute to the development of a healthy intestinal mucosa and the defense against harmful pathogens.