Antibiotics Affect The Infant And Child Microbiome
While there are similarities between the compositional effects of antibiotics on adult and infant microbiota, there are also some differences due to the distinct characteristics of the infant microbiota. The general trend of decreased microbial diversity due to antibiotic treatment is seen in children as well as in adults . A recent study of 142 Finnish children aged 27 years demonstrated that macrolides alter the microbiota composition and its potential metabolic functions . More specifically, use of macrolides decreased Actinobacteria abundance, including the genus Bifidobacteria, while increasing the abundance of members of the Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria phyla , compared to children not receiving antibiotics. These microbial alterations lead to significantly lower expression levels of microbial bile-salt hydrolases, which play an important role in host metabolism and weight gain restraint . Similarly, in a study in which human neonates received broad spectrum antibiotics for the first 4 days of life, arrested growth of Bifidobacterium was seen up to 1 month, overgrowth of Enterococci was observed since the first day and increased growth of Enterobacteriaceae was seen even 2 months after cessation of treatment . In contrast, penicillin does not have the same effects on children’s microbiome composition, as there are no significant taxonomical differences between untreated and penicillin-treated infants .
Why Is It Important To Support Your Child’s Gut Microbiome
Recent research has found that an alteration to the balance of healthy gut bacteria during infancy can have a negative effect on their immune health into adulthood – meaning that disordered gut health early in life, can have lifelong ramifications.
Further studies into the area support this idea that healthy gut bacteria is essential in babies and young children to reduce the risk of developing atopic conditions such as asthma and eczema, digestive symptoms such as colic, and even in the eventuality of lifestyle related conditions in adulthood, such as obesity.
How To Boost Your Babys Gut Health
Did you know that your babys gut microbiome can help shape their future health? It is pretty amazing! Research has shown that an imbalance in gut bacteria in early life is associated with an increased risk of allergies and may also contribute to the development of obesity, cardiovascular disease and other metabolic conditions later in life. So how can you best support your babys gut health?
1. Build a healthy gut microbiome during preconception and pregnancy
The first step in ensuring a healthy gut microbiome for your baby starts during the preconception and pregnancy period. Whilst it was previously thought that maternal microbes were first transferred during childbirth, there is emerging research which suggests that it may actually begin in utero.
To help support your gut microbiome focus on eating a nutrient dense diet with adequate amounts of fibre rich foods such as fruit, vegetables, wholegrains, legumes, nuts and seeds. We also know that prebiotic fibres in particular help feed our good gut bacteria. Prebiotics are found in a variety of foods including Jerusalem artichokes, asparagus, leek, onion, garlic, beetroot, sweetcorn, savoy cabbage, legumes, nectarines, white peaches, persimmon, tamarillo, watermelon, grapefruit, pomegranate, dried dates, dried figs, barley, rye flour, wheat bran, oats, cashews and pistachios. Probiotic rich foods such as yoghurt are also very beneficial to include in your pregnancy diet.
2. Breastfeed for as long as possible
Also Check: Took Antibiotics For Uti And Still Have Symptoms
Impact On Host Defense Against Infection
Antibiotics have attracted much attention as one of the most important factors that causes microbial dysbiosis during infancy and are linked to a higher risk of diseases with immune involvement in later life, including infectious diseases . In case control retrospective studies, prolonged exposure to antibiotic therapy was found to be associated with an increased risk of necrotizing enterocolitis, late-onset sepsis, or death among very low birth weight infants . By analyzing the stool microbiota and metabolites of preterm infants with seven days of empirical antibiotic treatment, Zhu et al. showed a significant reduction in bacterial diversity and enrichment of pathogens, such as Streptococcus and Pseudomonas . A Danish cohort study demonstrated that maternal antibiotics prescribed before or during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of infant infection-related hospitalization . Epidemiological studies further shed light on how antibiotic use predisposes human infants to susceptibility to diarrhea and respiratory tract infections . Although these studies provide crucial indications on increased susceptibility to infection, more convincing and direct evidence originates from studies involving animal models.
The Dark Side Of Antibiotics: Adverse Effects On The Infant Immune Defense Against Infection
- Institute of Oral Biology, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway
Although antibiotics confer significant health benefits in treating or preventing bacterial infections, an accumulating wealth of evidence illustrates their detrimental effect on host-microbiota homeostasis, posing a serious menace to the global public health. In recent years, it is becoming evident that infants, who are subjected to frequent antibiotic exposures due to their vulnerability to infection, reflect increased susceptibility to a wide spectrum of diseases, including infection, in later life. Antibiotics induce perturbations of the microbiota or dysbiosis, which in turn alters the host immune responses against pathogens. In comparison with adults, antibiotic treatments in infants have disproportionate consequences because the infant microbiota represents an evolving system that is unstable and immature until 23 years of age. However, relatively less knowledge is available on how antibiotics affect the infant microbiota and immunity. In this review article, we focus on how antibiotic treatment regimens influence the infant innate and adaptive immunity to pathogens in humans and animal models, and make the host susceptible to infections in later life. There is a critical need to better understand the effect of antibiotics on infant immune function, which may have implications for developing effective prophylactics and therapeutics against diseases in infants and adults.
Recommended Reading: Antibiotics For Gum Disease Treatment
Exclusive Breastfeeding For At Least Three Months May Lessen The Effect Of Antibiotic Use During Labor And Delivery On An Infants Microbiome
Cesarean delivery and antibiotic use during vaginal or C-section childbirth decreases diversity of an infants microbiome . However, a study by Azad et al. suggests that exclusive breastfeeding for at least three months may lessen the effect of maternal use of antibiotics during labor and delivery on the microbiome . Breastfeeding may repair the infant microbiome after antibiotic use. Birth is a key time for beneficial microbes to be transmitted from mother to infant, especially during vaginal birth . However antibiotics that disrupt microbiome transmission may be used during both vaginal and Cesarean section deliveries. During childbirth, especially in Canada and the United States, antibiotics may be used for several reasons. In vaginal deliveries, antibiotics are used to prevent transmission of Group B Streptococcus transmission to the infant. However, the use of antibiotics for GBS is correlated with increased antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli infections in infants . Antibiotics may also be given to reduce opportunistic pathogen infections during long labors where the amniotic sac membrane has ruptured. Cesarean section surgeries use antibiotics as a prophylactic to prevent infections . However, such widespread antibiotic use is not a common practice in Denmark, Norway, Australia, and the U.K.
Episode : We Are A Constellation Of Our Microbiome And Ourselves
The microbiomes of children born by C-section look less mature than those delivered vaginally, said Dr. Martin Blaser, a professor at NYU who headed the second study. Even if their microbiomes do eventually catch up, theres still a period of time when the microbiome is not maturing at the same rate as the baby, he said.
Whether diseases like type-1 diabetes are a direct result of an altered microbiome is still an open question.
The studies do have limitations. Most notably, that they cant prove cause-and-effect. Most children receive antibiotics because they are sick. So maybe the illness itself, and not the medication, is to blame for the changes in the babys microbiome.
And women who have C-sections are usually given antibiotics during the procedure. So maybe its the antibiotics that alter the microbiome, not the C-section, said Dr. Tim Buie, a pediatric gastroenterologist at Massachusetts General Hospital, who was not involved in the new research.
Regardless, Blaser urged women to be cautious when choosing a C-section for convenience, rather than for medical reasons. The C-section rate in the United States is 32 percent the rate in Manhattan, where his study was done, is even higher.
Bacterial diversity is so complex that the difference among strains can be as vast as the gap between Great Danes and dachshunds, said Dr. David Relman, a professor at Stanford Medical School, who was not involved in either study, though he does similar research.
Recommended Reading: How To Treat Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria
Shift Of Microbiome Composition From Birth To 12 Months
Microbial species composition profiles were calculated at different taxonomic ranks, and the relative abundances are provided in Supplementary Tables 24. We used a nonmetric multidimensional scaling approach to visualize the similarities between all the samples, using Bray-Curtis distance on species relative abundance . Infants in the antibiotic-treated group have gut taxonomic composition that is more dissimilar from their mothers at 37 days after birth then the control group. However, during the first 12 months, the gut microbiome of the infants in the antibiotic-treated group underwent a bigger shift and mostly returned to normal by age 12 months. Most stool samples from infants at 12 months, in both groups, had an almost adultlike taxonomic composition .
Nonmetric multidimensional scaling plot of samples and taxonomic distance between groups. A, X-axis and y-axis are the two MDS dimensions. Each point is a sample. A dashed line connects a mothers sample to an infants sample at 37 days after birth, then to that childs sample at 12 months. The 2 overlapping ellipses cover the mothers samples in the control and the antibiotic-treated groups. B, Taxonomic distance between different groups. Both plots were based on Bray-Curtis distance on species relative abundance.
Childhood Antibiotics Modulate The Immune System
The effect of antibiotics on the natural microbial communities may consequently modulate the immune function and promote illness associated with dysfunctional immune system. This might be especially true in the case of antibiotics administered in early childhood, a period during which the immune system is developing in coordination with the nascent microbial colonization. Indeed, use of antibiotics during childhood has been correlated with increased risk of allergy, asthma, various infections and IBD .
In terms of autoimmune disease, a cohort study found increased risk for IBD in children receiving antibiotics . This risk factor was especially high for Crohn’s disease and was strongest in the first 3 months following antibiotic administration, as well as in children receiving 7 courses of antibiotics . Mechanistically, a study in mice demonstrated that antibiotic treatment during gestation and early life induced a more rapid onset of IBD due to enhanced effector function of CD4+ T cells . They further showed that antibiotic treatment in early life resulted in a stress response, with high levels of corticosterone, which influence CD4+ T cell function.
You May Like: Where To Buy Antibiotics Over The Counter
Antibiotic Exposures And Samples
We collected fecal samples from infants in four different groups depending on their perinatal antibiotic exposure: Control group , IAP group , Postnatal antibiotics group , and IAP+Postnatal antibiotics group . NN group was unexposed to maternal antibiotics within one week before delivery, IAP during delivery, and postnatal antibiotics during the first week of life. YN group was exposed to sole intrapartum antibiotic prophylaxis. NY group received postnatal intravenous antibiotics starting within 24hours after birth. YY group was exposed to both IAP and postnatal intravenous antibiotics. Lactobacillus reuteri probiotic product, using a daily dose of 108 CFU, was administered to all infants receiving postnatal antibiotics until discharge. All antibiotics and probiotics were chosen and given as clinically indicated by the attending physicians according to local policy. Midwives and neonatal nurses collected daily fecal samples from diapers until discharge. Mothers provided a fecal sample for analysis after birth or soon after discharge. Samples were stored at 20°C until microbiome analysis.
Childbirth Antibiotics Have Long
Antibiotics given to mothers during childbirth could alter the infants gut microbiota, a new study published in Scientific Reports finds.
What is already known on this topicDuring childbirth, 20-30% of women receive antibiotics to prevent their infants from developing sepsisa life-threatening complication of a bacterial infection, and 2-5% of newborns receive antibiotics due to suspected sepsis.
What this research addsResearchers have found that the antibiotics given to the mother during childbirth alters the infants gut microbiota as much as does an intravenous antibiotic administered directly to the child. However, infants exposed directly to antibiotics had a significant overall increase in the abundance of antimicrobial-resistance genes compared with infants who were not exposed to antibiotics and those whose mothers had been given antibiotics.
The findings show that antibiotic treatment during childbirth can have a marked and long-term impact on the developing gut microbiota in infants, suggesting that the effects of childbirth antibiotics on newborns health should be further evaluated.
Antibiotics given to mothers during childbirth could alter the infants gut microbiota, a new study finds. The research, published in Scientific Reports, suggests that the effects of childbirth antibiotics on newborns health may be more marked than anticipated.
What We Know About Antibiotics
- Antibiotics damage your childs gut bacteria which causes an imbalance called dysbiosis.
- Your gut houses about 80% of the bodys immune cells.
- Antibiotics may cause a reduced immune response .
- Antibiotics in infancy have also been tied to an increased risk for infections, allergies and other disorders, and even obesity, later in life.
- Antibiotics can create an obese situation that causes people to gain weight probiotics can reverse it.
- Probiotics cut the chances of getting antibiotic-induced diarrhea by 20-50% and help prevent other infections that we often turn to antibiotics for.
- Probiotic dosage should be more than 5 billion daily to help with the damage to gut health after antibiotics.
At What Stage Of Your Life You Take Them
Our first years seem to be crucial for setting up a healthy microbiome for life. One study found an association between antibiotics given in the first year of life and later neurocognitive difficulties, such as ADHD, depression and anxiety , and others have found that the more courses of antibiotics a person receives during childhood, the higher their risk of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease .
Others have linked antibiotic exposure in the womb and early childhood to the development of asthma later in life and obesity in children as well adults .
Recommended Reading: Antibiotic Eye Drops For Chemical Burn
Perturbation Of The Gut Microbiota
The term dysbiosis refers to a persistent perturbation of the gut microbiota, and has been defined as an alteration in both the composition and function of the microbiota caused by host-related and environmental factors that overwhelms the resistance and resilience capabilities of the microbial ecosystem . Alterations in gut microbiota may be implicated in the pathogenesis of several non-communicable diseases and in the transition of these conditions to chronicity. Numerous studies have shown links between changes in the composition of the gut microbiota and diseases, including recurrent diarrhea associated with C. difficile, some bowel disorders , colorectal cancer, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, type 2 diabetes, obesity, and advanced chronic liver disease . However, for some of these examples, the studies are inconsistent, possibly because the methodology has not been standardized. Furthermore, rather than necessarily indicating a causative role in the pathogenesis of a disease, these associated microbiota changes could be a consequence of the disease itself. Thus, follow-up cohort studies are needed, particularly studies of interventions that may restore the composition of gut microbiota.
Sort Yourself Out Early
Mothers give a lot to their infants: their milk, their womb, their ability to sleep for more than three consecutive hours.
But did you know that mothers are the number one donor of bacteria to their infants in early life?
So it’s important to sort your own microbiome out before the baby arrives.
One of the best ways to promote a healthy community of bacteria in your gut is to eat a healthy diet rich in a variety of fibre.
Fibre consists of long chains of carbohydrates that are linked by complex bonds that our own cells do a bad job of breaking down.
This means that fibre ends up in our large intestines mostly undigested, where it can feed our resident gut bacteria.
You should also avoid unnecessary antibiotics while you’re pregnant and breastfeeding, as these will temporarily alter your microbiome.
Although mothers are the greatest contributors to their baby’s microbiome, everyone who shares the house with baby will contribute. Pregnancy is a great time to introduce the whole family to a healthy, fibre-rich diet.
Recommended Reading: Urinary Tract Infection How To Treat Without Antibiotics
Maternal Antibiotics Affect Infant Gut Microbiome Diversity
This article is written live from ID Week 2017 Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA. MPR will be reporting news on the latest findings from leading experts in infectious diseases. Check back for more news from IDWeek 2017.
SAN DIEGOMothers use of antibiotics affects infant gut composition up to a month later, according to findings from a prospective study of 22 mothers and their infants, reported at IDWeek 2017.
Our preliminary study clearly showed a disruptive effect of maternal antibiotic consumption on the nursing infants gut microbiome with an impact on the important early colonizers of the infant gut, reported lead study author Rachel Rock, MD, of the Assaf Harofeh Medical Center in Zerifin, Israel.
Additional, larger studies are needed to compare the effects of different antibiotics on infant gut microbiomes and to develop empirical recommendations for breastfeeding women, she cautioned.
The intestine of a newborn is considered sterile in utero and is rapidly populated with different bacteria following birth, Dr. Rock reminded attendees. The composition of the developing gut microbiome is thought to have crucial roles in maturation of the immune system and prevention of various diseases.
Researchers suspect that antibiotics can disrupt early-life gut microbiome development , but as much as 20% of women receive antibiotic therapy in the year after giving birth, according to Dr. Rock.