Antibiotics leave long lasting mark on children’s gut microbiome

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Antibiotic use early in life leaves its mark on the gut microbiome, according to a team of Finnish researchers.

Children who’ve taken macrolide antibiotics like azithromycin and clarithromycin experience long-lived shifts in their gut microbiome makeups, the University of Helsinki’s Willem de Vos and his colleagues reported in Nature Communications. They combined phylogenetic and metagenomic analysis of the intestinal microbiomes of some 236 Finnish children with antibiotic purchase records to find that the microbiomes of kids who’ve taken macrolides contain fewer Actinobacteria, but more Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria. Macrolide use was further linked with an increased risk of asthma and weight gain.

The researchers analyzed the intestinal microbiomes of 236 Finnish children between the ages of two and seven who all attended the same daycare facility. The team collected 257 fecal samples from the children, with some kids providing two samples some seven months apart.

Based on 454 sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene, the researchers determine the samples’ bacterial compositions. The children who had had macrolide antibiotics within the previous sixth months had a distinctive microbiome, de Vos and his colleagues reported. In particular, they had reduced levels of Actinobacteria, including Bifidobacterium, and increased levels of Bacteroidetes and Proteobacteria.

Read full, original post: Early‐Life Antibiotic Use Affects Gut Microbiome Composition, New Study Says

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