Infant Antibiotic Use Linked To Adult Diseases - Dream Health

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Thursday, 4 June 2015

Infant Antibiotic Use Linked To Adult Diseases

A Three Way Link – Antibiotic in Infants

Researchers have come up with a newstudy at the University of Minnesota which has found a three way link in the midst of antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria and the diseases later on in life. Dysbiosis which is the imbalances in gut microbes have been related to infectious diseases, allergies as well as other autoimmune disorders and obesity, later on in life.

The research which has been led by Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology program graduate student, Pajau Vangay developed a predictive model with possible clinical standing for measuring healthy development of bacteria in young children’s gut.

These discoveries were announced in the scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe recently. Antibiotics are known to be the most common prescription drugs which are given to children and accounts for around one-fourth of all medications that are prescribed to children where a third of it is considered pointless. Other research have indicated profound short and long term effects on antibiotics on the range and composition of the bacteria in the bodies known as microbiome.

Disorders Connected to Metabolism/Immune System

Disorders connected to metabolism as well as the immune system are on the rise and in several cases the reason is not known as stated by Dan Knights, the study’s senior author, a computational biologist and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Biotechnology Institute.

He adds that earlier studies have showed links between antibiotic use and unbalanced gut bacteria while others showed links between unbalanced gut bacteria and adult ailment. Evidence of strong correlations between antibiotic use, changes in gut bacteria and disease in adulthood has been synthesized on hundreds of studies over the past year.

Knights along with his colleagues created a framework in order to figure out how antibiotics could be acting in the gut to cause disease later on in life. With regards to allergies, for instance, the use of antibiotics could eliminate the main gut bacteria which could help immune cells to mature and these cells could have been essential in keeping the immune system at bay whenever they have to put up with allergens.

Clinical Test & Intervention 

If the bacteria tend to return, the immune system remains weakened. With regards to obesity, antibiotic induced changes in the gut microbial causes increased levels of short chain fatty acids which can affect metabolism. Research has also examined the progress of bacteria in the gut where the researchers have demonstrated that an infant’s age can be predicted with a period of 1.3 months depending on the maturity of their gut bacteria.

This discovery could lead to a clinical test and intervention for children where their microbe development is delayed due to antibiotic or any other factor. Besides, Knights and Vangay, other researchers who are involved in the study include Tonya Ward, a postdoctoral researcher in the University of Minnesota Biotechnology Institute and Jeffery Gerber, who is a researcher with the Division of Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Knight had stated that they think these discoveries could help develop a roadmap for research in the future to determine the health consequences of antibiotic use as well as for recommendation in prescribing them. He adds that the clinical test demonstrated would also enable them to think about intervention at the initial stage.

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