Antibiotics in early life alter infant gut microbiome – Consumer Health News

THURSDAY, March 10, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For newborns with suspected early neonatal sepsis (sEONS), the overall composition of the gut microbial community and the profile of antimicrobial resistance genes change directly after antibiotic treatment, according to a study published online February 2, 2022. 16 in Nature Communication.

Marta Reyman, of Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital and University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, and colleagues randomly assigned 147 infants born at ≥36 weeks gestational age requiring broad-spectrum antibiotics for treatment sEONS (mean duration, 48 hours) during their first week of life to receive penicillin + gentamicin, co-amoxiclav + gentamicin, or amoxicillin + cefotaxime. Eighty infants who were not treated with antibiotics from a healthy birth cohort served as controls. Before and immediately after treatment, and at 1, 4 and 12 months of life, rectal swabs and/or feces were collected. The microbiota was characterized and a panel of 31 antimicrobial resistance genes was tested.

The researchers found that immediately after treatment there was a major change in the overall composition of the gut microbial community and the profile of antimicrobial resistance genes, which normalized over 12 months. Compared to controls, infants treated with antibiotics showed a decrease in the abundance of Bifidobacterium spp. and an increased abundance of Klebsiella and Enterococcus spp. The largest effect on microbial community composition and antimicrobial resistance gene profile was observed for amoxicillin + cefotaxime, while the smallest effects were observed with penicillin + gentamicin.

“We were surprised by the magnitude and duration of the effects of broad-spectrum antibiotics on the microbiome of infants compared to the effects of these same antibiotics on the microbiota of adults,” a co-author said in a statement.

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