“Do not take antibiotics”, they’d say to an infected child, but the truth begs to differ. Apparently, taking antibiotics right from when you are young can do a lot of good to your immune system. A new study has claimed that consuming antibiotics in early life can increase the body’s long-term defense against specific diseases. According to the research by New University of British Columbia, most bacteria that live in the gut play a vital role in promoting the development of a healthy immune system. Antibiotic drugs, however, are unable to distinguish between good and bad bacteria. The study helps the scientists to understand how different types of antibiotics affect good bacteria.
The study involved testing the impact of two antibiotics named vancomycin and strepcomycin on newly born mice. It was found that streptomycin increased the susceptibility to a disease called hypersensitive pneumonitis later in life, but vancomycin had no effect at all. The difference in each antibiotic’s long-term effects can be attributed to how they changed the bacterial ecosystem inside the gut.
Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an allergic disease that is found in people who are into certain specific occupations such as sausage-making, farming and cleaning hot tubs.
The researchers stress on the fact that infants must be treated with antibiotics whenever needed, but they also hope that these results would help pinpoint which bacteria make the people less susceptible to diseases. It could also enhance the possibility of boosting the growth of helpful bacteria through the use of probiotics.
The results of the study were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Article source: Business Standard
Image source: Getty
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