Bifidobacterium breve

Bifidobacterium breve is a species of bacteria belonging to the genus Bifidobacteria. They are gram-positive, rod shaped and typically anaerobic. 

B. breve is commonly isolated from infant guts, especially breast fed infants (Turroni et al., 2012). More recently B. breve strains have also been found in breast milk (Fernandez L et al., 2013). A reason why their numbers are so high in these sources could be down to their ability to utilise human milk oligosaccharides (HMO’s). HMO’s are very selective prebiotics which are found in breast milk. They can only be broken down by a few Bifidobacterium spp. unlike traditional prebiotics.

During fermentation of HMO’s, B. breve strains can produce short chain fatty acids which promote a healthy gut environment. Additionally, B. breve strains usually contain a number of enzymes that help to break down starches, sugars (including lactose) and other components of breast milk. Thereby supporting natural digestion and absorption of nutrients.

This is one of the reasons why B. breve strains make popular probiotics for children and newborns. Some B. breve strains have been successfully trialled in children and have also shown to be effective for a range of health conditions (Cionci N e et al., 2018). 

The properties & benefits of probiotics are largely strain-specific, so this database provides even more detailed information at the level of the strain.

As some properties & benefits of probiotics may be strain-specific, this database provides even more detailed information at strain level. Read more about the strains that we have included from this genus below.

Bifidobacterium lactis strains: Bifidobacterium lactis Bi-07Bifidobacterium lactis BB-12®, Bifidobacterium lactis HN019 and Bifidobacterium lactis Bl-04.

Bifidobacterium infantis strains: Bifidobacterium infantis 35624.

Bifidobacterium breve strainsBifidobacterium breve M-16V®.

For more insights and professional updates on probiotics, please visit the Probiotic Professionals pages.


Cionci N e et al. (2018). Therapeutic Microbiology: The role of Bifidobacterium breve as food supplement for the prevention/treatment of paediatric diseases. Nutrients , 10 (11): 1723 .

Fernandez L et al. (2013). The human milk microbiota: origin and potential roles in health and disease. . Pharmacol. Res , 69: 1-10.

Turroni et al. (2012). Diversity of bifidobacteria within the infant gut microbiota. PLoS ONE, 7: e36957.