Antibiotics are among the most frequently prescribed medications in modern medicine. Antibiotics cure disease by killing or injuring bacteria. The first antibiotic was penicillin, discovered accidentally from a mold culture. Today, over 100 different antibiotics are available to cure minor, as well as life-threatening infections.
A lot of studies take a doom-and-gloom tone about the devastating effects on the world from generations of immersion in antibiotics – in animals, in food and in early childhood. Some have even traced the damage to the immune system from before conception. Many are warning that there is no hope except through dramatic worldwide intervention (which includes new vaccines, newer stronger drugs).
But studies like this one from New University of British Columbia not only dissect immune-damage wrought by early use of antibiotics, but also offer some hope in correcting the problem, especially in young children.
Canadian research found that receiving antibiotic treatments early in life can increase susceptibility to specific diseases later on.
Most bacteria living in the gut play a positive role in promoting a healthy immune system, but as they say, antibiotic treatments often do not discriminate between good and bad bacteria. The …
This is the first step to understanding which bacteria are absolutely necessary to develop a healthy immune system later in life.
The researchers tested the impact of two antibiotics, vancomycin and streptomycin, on newborn mice. They found that streptomycin increased susceptibility to a disease known as hypersensitivity pneumonitis later in life, but vancomycin had no effect. The difference in each antibiotic's long-term effects can be attributed to how they changed the bacterial ecosystem in the gut. Hypersensitivity pneumonitis is an allergic disease found in people with occupations such as farming, sausage-making, and cleaning hot tubs – aka “farmer's lung.”
Of course, researchers emphasize that infants should be treated with antibiotics when needed, but they hope these results will help pinpoint which bacteria make us less susceptible to disease. That would be a truly valuable concept – in an ideal world, a baby would not have need to have an infection treated in the first place. Just as overuse of antibiotics and other environmental factors could weaken posterity's immunity, so too can nutritional repair strengthen the genetic line.
This writer finally see a closer examination of antibiotics' effect the immunity of the people.
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