Navigation Links
Exposure to antibiotics linked to severity of allergic asthma: UBC research

Widely used antibiotics may increase incidence and severity of allergic asthma in early life, according to a University of British Columbia study.

The study, published today in the journal EMBO reports, shows that certain antibiotics that affect intestinal bacteria also had a profound impact on allergic asthma.

"It has long been suspected that kids exposed to more antibiotics like those in developed countries are more prone to allergic asthma," says the study's author, UBC microbiologist Brett Finlay. "Our study is the first experimental proof that shows how."

Finlay's team at UBC's Dept. of Microbiology and Immunology and Michael Smith Laboratories examined how two widely used antibiotics streptomycin and vancomycin affected the bacterial "ecosystem" in the gut. They found that vancomycin profoundly alters the bacterial communities in the intestine and increases severity of asthma in mouse models.

The same antibiotics do not impact adult mice's susceptibility to asthma, indicating that early life is a critical period of establishing a healthy immune system.

Allergic asthma affects more than 100 million people worldwide and its prevalence is increasing on average by 50 per cent every decade, particularly among children in industrialized countries. According to the Asthma Society of Canada, asthma affects at least 12 per cent of Canadian children.

The human gut is colonized by approximately 100 trillion bacteria, and contains upwards of 1,000 bacterial species. While not fully understood, these micro-organisms, known as "gut flora," perform a host of useful functions, says Finlay.

"Modern societal practices, such as improved sanitation methods and widespread antibiotic use, are causing the disappearance of ancestral species of bacteria in our gut that may be critical to a healthy immune system," says Finlay.

"Our study shows this is the case with certain antibiotics and allergic asthma, and the gut-lung connection is also consistent with observations that incidence of asthma has not increased significantly in developing countries where antibiotic use is less prevalent and in turn, the gut flora is permitted to fully develop."

The study is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) through the Canadian Microbiome Initiative, in partnership with Genome BC and the Allergy, Genes and Environment Network (AllerGen NCE).

Marc Ouellette, Scientific Director of CIHR's Institute of Infection and Immunity, noted the importance of the team's results: "It has been recognized that microbes play an important role in human health and we are discovering that a disruption of these bugs is associated with a number of chronic health conditions. The important results from Prof. Finlay's team confirm that giving antibiotics to young children, which disturb their normal bacterial flora, should not be taken lightly."

Contact: Brian Lin
University of British Columbia

Related biology news :

1. Study: Bird diversity lessens human exposure to West Nile Virus
2. Birth control has long-term effect on hormone exposure
3. Major source of radon exposure overlooked at former Ohio uranium-processing plant
4. Household exposure to toxic chemicals lurks unrecognized, researchers find
5. Study reveals effects of unconscious exposure to advertisements
6. Benefits of breastfeeding outweigh risk of infant exposure to environmental chemicals in breastmilk
7. Novel technique changes lymph node biopsy, reduces radiaiton exposure
8. Novel technique changes lymph node biopsy, reduces radiation exposure
9. Swimmers at public beaches show increased risk of exposure to contagious staph bacteria
10. How increased UV exposure impacts plants
11. Exposure to insecticide may play role in obesity epidemic among some women
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/26/2016)... India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product ... and Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate ... solutions.      (Logo: ... to provide their customers enhanced security to access ...
(Date:4/15/2016)...  A new partnership announced today will help ... in a fraction of the time it takes ... life insurance policies to consumers without requiring inconvenient ... Diagnostics, rapid testing (A1C, Cotinine and HIV) and ... weight, pulse, BMI, and activity data) available at ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting Medicaid patients ... a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks to a ... the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely track key ... body mass index, and, when they opt in, share ... visit to a local retail location at no cost. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Charm Sciences, Inc. is ... has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. , “This is another AOAC-RI approval ... Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and Industrial Affairs. “The Peel Plate methods ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... --  EpiBiome , a precision microbiome engineering company, today ... from Silicon Valley Bank (SVB). The financing will allow ... drug development efforts, as well as purchase additional lab ... been an incredible strategic partner to us – one ... provide," said Dr. Aeron Tynes Hammack , EpiBiome,s ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... ... In a new case report published today in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine, ... after being treated for breast cancer benefitted from an injection of stem cells derived ... debilitating, frequent side effect of cancer treatment. , Lymphedema refers to the ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LONDON , June 23, 2016 ... & Hematology Review, 2016;12(1):22-8 ... Review , the peer-reviewed journal from touchONCOLOGY, ... the escalating cost of cancer care is placing ... a result of expensive biologic therapies. With the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: