From the first course, antibiotics disrupt the microbiota of infants

THE ESSENTIAL

  • In infants, antibiotics reduce gut bacteria from the first dose
  • The risk is to develop diarrhea, IBD, or obesity in the long term

Antibiotics would disrupt the microbiota of infants from the first course. This is shown by a study by researchers at the University of Helsinki, the results of which confirm the undesirable effects of these drugs. This work was done on infants with a respiratory viral infection who had never received antibiotics before. Some of these very young children experienced complications as a result of the viral infection and were prescribed antibiotics, while those who experienced no complications were not treated with antibiotics, which allowed the results to be compared.

Results six weeks after start of treatment

And these results show that in children treated with antibiotics, six weeks after starting treatment, the microbiota shows a reduction in bacterial counts, leaving more room for the fungal microbiota (fungi) to multiply. “Our research clearly shows that bacteria in the gut regulate and keep the fungal microbiota in check. When bacteria are disturbed by antibiotics, fungi, especially Candida, have an opportunity to multiply.“, specifies Rebecka Ventin-Holmberg, doctoral student at the University of Helsinki.

Diarrhea, IBD, obesity

Although antibiotics are the most commonly prescribed medication for infants, they are thought to cause the most significant and long-lasting changes in the gut microbiota at this stage of their development. “These drugs can cause side effects such as B. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea; They also increase the risk of developing chronic inflammatory diseases like IBD and are also associated with obesity“, specifies Rebecka Ventin-Holmberg.

While the effects of antibiotics on the bacterial microbiota have been studied before, this research is one of the first to focus on the fungal microbiota. And one of the lessons to be learned from this is the long-term role that these fungal microbiota can play in the ongoing effects of gut microbiota imbalance. “Future research should focus on all gut microorganisms to get a better view of the microbiome“, says Rebecka Ventin-Holmberg.

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