You lose more than your cold and flu symptoms when you take antibiotics!
In a battle against an infection, antibiotics can bring victory over enemy germs. However, that winning aid of war can come with significant collateral damage; The microbial allies and the innocent are also killed. These casualties may be unavoidable in some cases, but many people take antibiotics when they are not necessary or appropriate. And the number of antibiotics in a healthy microbiome can, in some places, be serious, a new study suggests.
In two randomized, placebo-controlled trials of healthy people, a single course of Antibiotics altered the composition and diversity of the intestinal microbiome. For months, and in some cases up to a year. These changes could clear the way for pathogens, including the deadly Clostridium difficile. These changes in the community can also alter microbial activities, such as interacting with the immune system and helping with digestion. Overall, the data, published on Tuesday in the mBio journal, suggest that antibiotics may have more side effects than previously thought, at least in the gut.
In the mouth, on the other hand, the researchers found that the microbial communities performed much better and recovered weeks after the antibiotic treatments. The finding raises the question of why the oral microbiome is less disturbed by drugs. It could simply be due to the way in which antibiotics, taken orally, circulate throughout the body. Or, it could imply that oral microbiomes are innately more resistant, a quality that would be useful for replicating in microbial communities throughout the body.
the joint judgments, led by Egija Zaura at the University of Amsterdam, followed 66 healthy participants, 29 in Sweden and 37 in the United Kingdom. At each location, the participants were randomized into a placebo group or into one of the two groups that received antibiotics. The two antibiotics administered in the Swedish trial were an lincosamide (clindamycin) and a quinolone (ciprofloxacin). The UK trial included a tetracycline (minocycline) and a penicillin (amoxicillin).
The researchers sequenced the germs in each person's saliva and feces before and immediately after taking a medication cycle. Then, the researchers conducted a follow-up sampling at 1, 2, 4 and 12 months.
The intestinal microbial diversity was significantly altered by the four types of antibiotics, which lasted for months. In the participants who took ciprofloxacin, the microbial diversity was modified up to 12 months. Antibiotic treatments also caused an increase in the genes associated with antibiotic resistance. Finally, the researchers observed that clindamycin eliminated the microbes that produce butyrate, a short-chain fatty acid that inhibits inflammation, carcinogenesis and oxidative stress in the intestine.
The oral microbiome saw some changes in the community. But the communities surprisingly recovered in a short time, in some cases a week, the authors report. And, the amount of genes associated with antibiotic resistance was generally stable before and after drug treatments.
The authors speculate that the stability of the oral microbiome may be related to the constant onslaught of disorders, such as tooth brushing and changes in humidity and air.
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