Use of Antibiotics Early in Life May Lead to IBD in Adults, Mouse Study Suggests

Use of Antibiotics Early in Life May Lead to IBD in Adults, Mouse Study Suggests
The use of antibiotics very early in life may alter the normal development of the gut bacteria, which may play a role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), according to a new mouse study. The study, titled “Early-life antibiotic treatment enhances the pathogenicity of CD4+ T cells during intestinal inflammation,” is published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. The researchers believe their findings indicate that altering gut flora may be a feasible treatment approach for some inflammatory diseases like IBD. "Our study demonstrates that gut bacteria in early life do affect disease development in adulthood, but this response can be changed," Colby Zaph, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the School of Biomedical Sciences at Monash University, Australia, said in a news release. "This has important ramifications for the use of pre- and probiotics, the administration of antibiotics to neonates, and our understanding of how gut bacteria play a critical role in influencing the development of inflammatory diseases such as IBD." IBD has increasing incidence and prevalence in most countries and has become an emerging global disease. IBDs are thought to occur as a result of a complex interplay between host genetics and environmental factors, such as the composition of the intestinal microbiota, which in turn leads to a dysregulated intestinal immune response. In the new study, Zaph and his team conducted experiments using two groups of mice with IB
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