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The core phageome and its interrelationship with preterm human milk lipids

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Christopher StewartORCiD, Dr Simon Bridge, Dr Claire Granger, Dr Janet Berrington, Professor Nicholas EmbletonORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


© 2023 The AuthorsPhages and lipids in human milk (HM) may benefit preterm infant health by preventing gastrointestinal pathobiont overgrowth and microbiome modulation. Lipid association may promote vertical transmission of phages to the infant. Despite this, interrelationships between lipids and phages are poorly characterized in preterm HM. Shotgun metagenomics and untargeted lipidomics of phage and lipid profiles from 99 preterm HM samples reveals that phages are abundant and prevalent from the first week and throughout the first 100 days of lactation. Phage-host richness of preterm HM increases longitudinally. Core phage communities characterized by Staphylococcus- and Propionibacterium-infecting phages are significantly correlated with long-chain fatty acid abundances over lactational age. We report here a phage-lipid interaction in preterm HM, highlighting the potential importance of phage carriage in preterm HM. These results reveal possible strategies for phage carriage in HM and their importance in early-life microbiota development.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Yew WC, Young GR, Nelson A, Cheung W, Stewart CJ, Bridge SH, Granger C, Berrington JE, Embleton ND, Smith DL

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Cell Reports

Year: 2023

Volume: 42

Issue: 11

Print publication date: 28/11/2023

Online publication date: 16/11/2023

Acceptance date: 18/10/2023

Date deposited: 27/11/2023

ISSN (electronic): 2211-1247

Publisher: Elsevier B.V.


DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2023.113373


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Funder referenceFunder name
Danone Early Life Nutrition
Prolacta Biosciences US