Study: Antibiotics Taken in 3rd Trimester May Increase Likelihood of IBD in Offspring

There's a possible correlation between antibiotics and IBD in offspring.A new study out of the University of Chicago Medical Center found a possible correlation between antibiotics and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in offspring.

The study, conducted on mice, identified pregnant mice that were genetically likely to develop IBD. The expecting mice were given antibiotics both during the last trimester as well as when the newly born mice nursed. Data showed that the baby mice demonstrated an increased chance at developing inflammation in the colon after their mothers received antibiotics.

Scientists gave the pregnant mice cefoperazone, a very common antibiotic used to treat a variety of conditions including bacterial infections and infections of the joint, kidney, urinary tract, and soft tissue of the body in humans. It is also commonly prescribed for pelvic inflammatory disease and febrile neutropenia.

Related: The End of Antibiotics? Drug-Resistant Bacteria Found in the US

As a common antibiotic, it has many generic names including Cefobid, Cefon, and Biorazon just to name a few. For a full list of generic versions including this antibiotic, click here.

While the inflammatory condition the baby mice developed was not identical to human IBD, researchers stated that it was very similar.

Interestingly, scientists did not record an increase in IBD in the adult mice after they received antibiotics — only in the offspring.

Related: How to Nurture Your Inner Garden with Microbiota

Research data also revealed that the microbiome throughout the intestinal tract of the mothers experienced changes that were transmitted to the babies. In regards to the findings, the lead author of the study, Eugene B. Chang, MD, Director of the Microbiome Medicine Program of the Microbiome Center stated in a new study that “‘…even though [the offspring] had the same genetic background, the offspring with an altered microbiome during this critical period of immune development became highly susceptible to the development of colitis.’”

Published in the journal Cell Reports, “Peripartum Exposure to Antibiotics Promotes Persistent Gut Dysbiosis, Immune Imbalance, and Colitis in Genetically Prone Offspring” offers the medical community important information regarding antibiotics.

The researchers called for more study on this issue.  Chang hopes to ultimately work on creating a microbial boost for infants to increase their overall health.

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