According to recent research done on mice, the usage and exposure to antibiotics at a young age might actually eliminate good bacteria in the digestive system that can cause asthma and allergies. The research, which was published in the journal Mucosal Immunology, provides the most compelling evidence to date that the correlation between antibiotic use during pregnancy and the subsequent development of asthma and allergy symptoms in offspring is causative. If you can help it, try to avoid giving your kid antibiotics as early as possible, since doing so has been linked to an increased risk of serious, long-term issues with allergy and/or asthma.
Five-day-old mice were given either water, azithromycin, or amoxicillin in the first stage of the experiment. Researchers exposed the mice to a common allergen generated from home dust mites when they reached adulthood. Antibiotic-treated mice, particularly those given azithromycin, had increased immunological response rates, indicative of allergies. The second and third portions of the experiment examined the idea that the elimination of certain beneficial gut bacteria after early exposure to antibiotics leads to allergic reactions and asthma.
But the following generation found a new normal. Mice exposed to antibiotics as infants had increased sensitivity to home dust mite allergen, and their offspring did as well compared to mice exposed to water. First, antibiotic exposure was the sole known variable. In the last two sections, the only thing that could change was whether or not the bacteria in the stomach had been exposed to antibiotics. There was no discernible difference between the mice in any other way.
The study’s lead author, Timothy Borbet, initially inoculated a group of germ-free adult mice with feces laden with bacteria from another group of mice. Some of the participants were given tissue samples from mice that had been either azithromycin or amoxicillin as infants. Mice that were given water were used to provide control samples for the rest of the group. Antibiotic-modified sample-receiving mice were no more prone to have allergic reactions to home dust mites than untreated mice, and the same is true for humans who are given antibiotics later in life.