Antibiotics could alter long-term immunity

19 August 2014

Researchers at the University of British Columbia (UBC) have found that receiving antibiotic treatments early on in life could increase a person's susceptibility to some diseases later on.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, could help scientists better understand how different antibiotics can affect good bacteria. Most bacteria in the gut promote a healthy immune system, but some antibiotics can fail to distinguish between good and bad bacteria. 

Professor Kelly McNagny of the Department of Medical Genetics at UBC and co-leader of the research described this as the "first step to understanding" which bacteria is necessary to develop a healthy immune system later in life.

The team tested two antibiotics - vancomycin and streptomycin - on newborn mice and found that streptomycin increased susceptibility to a disease called hypersensitivity pneumonitis later in life, while vancomycin had no effect. This difference in impact can be attributed to how each antibiotic changed the bacterial ecosystem in the gut. 

Although the researchers stressed that infants should always receive antibiotics when needed, it is hoped that this study can help pinpoint which bacteria make us less susceptible to disease. 

Posted by Philip Briggs​

 

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

Find a treatment, test or scan available at:

or

Find a consultant

Use one or more of the options below to search for a consultant and link through to view their Spire profile.

or

Let us help you

fill out this form and we will get back to you:

Please select a hospital

We can call you

Please enter your details below and we will call you back.

What is the aim of your enquiry?

Please select a hospital

If we are unable to reach you by phone, please include your email address so that we can get in touch...

Categories

General Surgery

© Spire Healthcare Group plc (2016)