The administration of antibiotics in childhood can increase the risk of developing asthma and allergies, according to a study carried out by scientists from the Rutgers University (United States) in a study published in the journal ‘Mucosal Immunology’.
In the study, the researchers noted that antibiotics, among the most commonly used medications in children, affect to the gut microbiome and to metabolic functions, both of which can affect host immunity.
In the first part of the experiment, five-day-old mice received either water, azithromycin, or amoxicillin. After the mice matured, the researchers exposed them to a common allergen derived from house dust mites. Mice that had received either antibiotic, especially azithromycin, exhibited high rates of immune responses, ie, allergies.
In the second and third parts of the experiment, they tested the hypothesis that early exposure to antibiotics (but not later exposure) causes allergies and asthma by killing some healthy gut bacteria that support the proper development ofthe immune system.
Mice that received antibiotic-altered samples were no more likely than other mice to develop immune responses to house dust mites, just as people who receive antibiotics as adults are no more likely to develop asthma or allergies than those who receive antibiotics. they do not receive them.
The pups of mice that received samples altered with antibiotics reacted more to house dust mites that those whose parents received antibiotic-unmodified samples, as well as mice that originally received antibiotics as infants, reacted more to the allergen than those given water.
“These experiments provide strong evidence that antibiotics cause the development of unwanted immune responses through their effect on intestinal bacteriabut only if the intestinal bacteria are altered in early childhood, ”they have settled.