Researchers at Francis Crick Institute conducted a study that demonstrated the fact that antibiotics make the lung susceptible to flu. The study was later published in Cell Reports. It is widely known that antibiotics are a category of strong medication used to cure illnesses provoked by bacteria. It is also known that they are not capable of treating infections like influenza, the common cold or coughs.
This is why antibiotics should not be taken inappropriately, without first consulting a medical expert. The study’s results, after the researchers experimented on lab mice, were that bacteria from the gut protect the lung. The mice that were contaminated with the flu virus lived through it in a proportion of 80%.
Most of those that received antibiotics before catching the flu died. The conclusion is that used frequently and inadequately, and the antibiotics destroy beneficial gut microorganisms that could otherwise help in illnesses and makes people susceptible to viruses.
Along with type I interferon, there exists an antiviral gene, known as MxA gene in humans, which creates proteins which help in the battle against flu virus replication. The antiviral gene is always active to defend against the virus to develop.
Antibiotics Affect the Human Body’s Resistance To Diseases
The first line of defense against influenza virus is the cells interlining the lungs and not the immune cells, as was once believed. One of the researchers at the Francis Crick Institute, Dr. Andreas Wack, stated that “gut bacteria send a signal that keeps the cells lining the lung prepared, preventing the virus from multiplying so quickly” as immune cells take longer to respond to the virus the way they are supposed to.
Therefore, gut bacteria are a critical factor in protecting the body of viruses.
In the lungs of the mice that were infected with the virus and treated with antibiotics, which acted on the gut bacteria and made it unable to send signals to lung cells, existed a higher quantity of the virus.
To deal with the infection, the immune cells become more powerful, thus more harmful, and give rise to awful consequences. Researchers, along with medical experts, advise people to tone it down on the use of antibiotics as they can be more damaging to the body if not used properly.