Why antibiotics may not be good for infants

New York, April 4 (IANS): Exposure to antibiotics in the womb and in infancy can lead to irreversible loss of regulatory T cells in the colon, a valuable part of the immune system’s response to allergens later in life, after just six months, according to one. new search.

The T lymphocyte is a type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system and is central to adaptive immunity, the system that adapts the body’s immune response to specific pathogens.

According to the study, published in the journal mBio, it is already known that the use of antibiotics early in life disrupts the gut microbiota, the trillions of beneficial microorganisms that live in and on our bodies, which play a crucial role. in healthy maturation. immune system and disease prevention, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disease.

However, less is known about how disruption of the microbiota, which produces short-chain fatty acids that regulate T cells, affects T cells in the colon.

“By studying the exposure of newborns by nursing mothers, we see how the offspring acquires the microbiota from their mothers influenced by antibiotics, compromising their ability to generate a pool of CD41 T cells in the colon, resulting in long-term damage, ”said Rutgers University researcher Martin Blaser.

“The consequences persist into adulthood, compromising the body’s ability to turn off allergic responses,” added Blaser.

For the study, based on a mouse model, the team looked at maternal exposure of the fetus and newborn to antibiotics in the weeks before and immediately following birth, the time when microbial communities come together and are prone to disruption, to study how this reduction in beneficial bacteria affects the development of the neonatal immune system.

These effects were colon-specific and not seen in the lungs, upper gastrointestinal tract, or spleen, the researchers said.