New Delhi: Even seemingly gentle antibiotics may severely disrupt the balance of microbes living in the gut, with unforeseen health consequences, US researchers reported. An intimate study of three women given ciprofloxacin showed the drug suppressed entire populations of beneficial bacteria, and at least one woman took months to recover. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, supports the common wisdom that antibiotics can damage the `good` germs living in the body.
Gut microbes can affect obesity and may play a role in allergy. Lactobacillus reuteri, found in breast milk, may protect against rotavirus infections, other researchers have found. Several recent studies have found that certain bacteria cause inflammation that can affect appetite as well as inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn`s disease and colitis. Regularly wiping out the body`s bacterial population could also be helping drive the rapid spread of drug-resistant superbugs, the Stanford team said. "One potential ramification of the altered community is an enhanced carriage of antibiotic-resistance genes in the human population," they wrote. "Every course of antibiotics may represent another roll of the dice," they added -- potentially a "bad" strain to replace a beneficial species. Bureau Report
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