An infant’s exposure to antibiotics may affect the immune system’s response towards allergies

Monday April 5, 2021 at 10:34 pm

Washington: A recent study has revealed the fact that exposure to antibiotics in utero and infancy might result in an irreversible loss of regulatory T- cells in the colon, an essential factor in the immune system’s response towards allergens in the future life, only after half a year.

The journal mBio published such findings.

It is already a known fact that the use of antibiotics in the earlier stage of life interrupts the intestinal microbiota- the trillions of useful microorganisms that are present in and on our bodies and play a vital role in the maturation of the immune system in a healthy manner and also prevents diseases such as obesity and inflammatory bowel disorder.

But, not much is known about the interruption of the microbiota that helps in the production of short-chain fatty acids that regulate T-cells and affects them in the colon.

The study that is based on a mouse model pointed at the fetal and newborn exposure to antibiotics through the mother in the weeks immediately preceding and after birth, the time when the microbial communities come together and are prone to interruptions, to show how the reduction in beneficial bacteria poses a threat to the development of the neonatal immune system.

Such an effect was particularly noted in the colon but not in the lungs, upper gastrointestinal tract, or spleen.

Co-author, Martin Blaster, director of the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine at Rutgers stated, “By studying the exposure of newborns through lactating mothers, we see how the offspring acquire their mothers’ antibiotic-impacted microbiota, which compromises their ability to generate a pool of CD41 T cells in the colon, resulting in long-term damage”.

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