A new study suggests that early exposure to antibiotics may lead to chronic asthma and allergies.
Recent research has shown that early exposure to antibiotics can destroy beneficial bacteria in the digestive system and cause asthma and allergies.
Research published in the journal Mucosal ImmunologyIt provides the strongest evidence to date that early antibiotic exposure and later is the cause of the long-known link between asthma and allergies.
“The practical implication is simple: avoid using antibiotics in young children whenever possible because they may increase the risk of long-term complications from allergies and/or asthma,” said senior author Martin Blaser. and treatment Rutgers.
The authors of the study, from Rutgers University, New York UniversityAnd University of ZurichAntibiotics are among the most commonly used drugs in children that affect gut microbiome communities and metabolic functions. These changes in the composition of the microbiota may affect the host’s immune response.
In the first phase of the experiment, five-day-old mice were given water, azithromycin or amoxicillin. After the mice reached adulthood, the scientists exposed them to a common allergen produced by house dust mite. Mice that received antibiotics, specifically azithromycin, had heightened immune responses – that is, allergies.
In the second and third stages of the experiment, certain healthy gut bacteria, which are critical for proper immune system development, are killed by early exposure to antibiotics (but not later exposure), which can cause allergies and asthma.
Lead author Timothy Borbet first transferred bacteria-rich stool samples from the first group of mice to a second group of adult mice. Some received samples from mice that had been given azithromycin or amoxicillin as infants. Others received normal samples from mice that received water.
Just as people who take antibiotics as adults are less likely to develop asthma or allergies, mice that received the antibiotic-altered sample were no more likely to develop allergic reactions to house dust than other mice.
But for the next generation, things were different. Mice offspring that received antibiotic-altered samples reacted more strongly to dust echoes than their parents that received samples unaltered by antibiotics.
“This was a carefully controlled experiment,” Blaser said. “The only variable in the first class was antibiotic exposure. The only variable in the second two classes was whether or not the gut bacterial mix was affected by antibiotics. Everything about the mice was the same.”
“These experiments provide strong evidence that antibiotics can cause unwanted immune responses due to their effects on gut bacteria, but only if the gut bacteria are altered in early childhood,” Blaser added.
Reference: “Effects of Early Life Gut Microbiota on the Immune Response to Inhaled Allergens” by Timothy C. Borbet, Miranda B. Paulin, Xiaozu Zhang, Matthew F. Wipperman, Sebastian Reuter, Timothy Maher, Jackie Lee, Tadasu Aizumi, Jean Gao, Megan Daniel, Christian Taube, Sergey B. Koralov, Anne Müller, and Martin J. Blaser, 16 July 2022; Mucosal Immunology.