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Comparison of stool microbiota compositions, stool alpha1-antitrypsin and calprotectin concentrations, and diarrhoeal morbidity of Indonesian infants fed breast milk or probiotic/prebiotic-supplemented formula


  • Conflict of interest: None declared.



The composition of faecal microbiota of babies is known to be influenced by diet. Faecal calprotectin and α1-antitrypsin concentrations may be associated with mucosal permeability and inflammation. We aimed to assess whether there was any difference after consumption of a probiotic/prebiotic formula on faecal microbiota composition, calprotectin and α1-antitrypsin levels, and diarrhoea in comparison with breast milk-fed Indonesian infants.


One hundred sixty infants, 2 to 6 weeks old, were recruited to the study. They were either breastfed or formula fed (80 per group). Faecal samples were collected at recruitment and 3 months later. Bacterial groups characteristic of the human faecal microbiota were quantified in faeces by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Calprotectin and α1-antitrypsin concentrations were measured using commercial kits. Details of diarrhoeal morbidity were documented and rated for severity.


The compositions of the faecal microbiota of formula-fed compared with breast milk-fed children were similar except that the probiotic strain Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis DR10 was more abundant after 3 months consumption of the formula. Alpha1-antitrypsin levels were higher in breastfed compared with formula-fed infants. The occurrence of diarrhoea did not differ between the groups of babies.


Feeding Indonesian babies with a probiotic/prebiotic formula did not produce marked differences in the composition of the faecal microbiota in comparison with breast milk. Detrimental effects of formula feeding on biomarkers of mucosal health were not observed.