The aim of the study was to evaluate whether supplementation of milk-formulas with prebiotic fructo-oligosaccharides or a probiotic, Lactobacillus johnsonii La1 (La1), could modulate the composition of the fecal microbiota of formula-fed infants, compared to breastfed (BF) infants. Ninety infants close to 4 months of age were randomized into one of three groups to be blindly assigned to receive for 13 weeks: a) an infant formula (Control), b) the same formula with fructo-oligosaccharides (Prebio), or c) with La1 (Probio). At the end of this period, all infants received the control formula for 2 additional weeks. Twenty-six infants, breastfed throughout the study, were recruited to form group BF. Fecal samples were obtained upon enrolment and after 7 and 15 weeks. Bacterial populations were assessed with classical culture techniques and fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH). Seventy-six infants completed the study. On enrolment, higher counts of Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus and lower counts of enterobacteria were observed in BF compared to the formula-fed infants; these differences tended to disappear at weeks 7 and 15. No major differences for Clostridium, Bacteroides or Enterococcus were observed between the groups or along the follow up. Probio increased fecal Lactobacillus counts (p<0.001); 88% of the infants in this group excreted live La1 in their stools at week 7 but only 17% at week 15. Increased Bifidobacterium counts were observed at week 7 in the 3 formula groups, similar to BF infants. These results confirm the presence of higher counts of bifidobacteria and lactobacilli in the microbiota of BF infants compared to formula-fed infants before dietary diversification, and that La1 survives in the infant digestive tract.