Species diversity and relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria in the milk of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

L. Jin, K. Hinde, L. Tao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Scopus citations


Background Mother's milk is a source of bacteria that influences the development of the infant commensal gut microbiota. To date, the species diversity and relative abundance of lactic acid bacteria in the milk of non-human primates have not been described.Methods Milk samples were aseptically obtained from 54 female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) at peak lactation. Following GM17 and MRS agar plating, single bacterial colonies were isolated based on difference in morphotypes, then grouped based on whole-cell protein profiles on SDS-PAGE. Bacterial DNA was isolated and the sequence the 16S rRNA gene was analyzed.Results A total of 106 strains of 19 distinct bacterial species, belonging to five genera, Bacillus, Enterococcus, Lactobacillus, Pediococcus, and Streptococcus, were identified.Conclusions Maternal gut and oral commensal bacteria may be translocated to the mammary gland during lactation and present in milk. This pathway can be an important source of commensal bacteria to the infant gut and oral cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-58
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Primatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011



  • 16S rRNA
  • Breastfeeding
  • Commensal bacteria
  • Lactobacillus reuteri
  • Milk microbiota
  • Streptococcus gallolyticus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • veterinary(all)

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