Antibiotics Antibiotic-induced collateral damage to the microbiota and associated infections (review, Aug 2023) "can suppress the growth of commensal species which provide protection against colonization by foreign pathogens, leading to an increased risk of subsequent infection"

Michael Harrop

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https://www.nature.com/articles/s41579-023-00936-9

Abstract​

Antibiotics have transformed medicine, saving millions of lives since they were first used to treat a bacterial infection. However, antibiotics administered to target a specific pathogen can also cause collateral damage to the patient’s resident microbial population. These drugs can suppress the growth of commensal species which provide protection against colonization by foreign pathogens, leading to an increased risk of subsequent infection. At the same time, a patient’s microbiota can harbour potential pathogens and, hence, be a source of infection. Antibiotic-induced selection pressure can cause overgrowth of resistant pathogens pre-existing in the patient’s microbiota, leading to hard-to-treat superinfections. In this Review, we explore our current understanding of how antibiotic therapy can facilitate subsequent infections due to both loss of colonization resistance and overgrowth of resistant microorganisms, and how these processes are often interlinked. We discuss both well-known and currently overlooked examples of antibiotic-associated infections at various body sites from various pathogens. Finally, we describe ongoing and new strategies to overcome the collateral damage caused by antibiotics and to limit the risk of antibiotic-associated infections.

Full paper: https://www.mediafire.com/file/8ns02ggbjorp16j/s41579-023-00936-9.pdf/file
 
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