Long-term antibiotic treatment for Q fever causes weight gain

April 14, 2014, American Society for Microbiology

Scientists have unearthed still more evidence that antibiotics can contribute to obesity. Research published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy suggests that patients on long-term antibiotic treatment gained weight and had significant changes in their gut microbiota.

The study, led by Didier Raoult, of Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France, followed 48 patients who were being treated long-term with doxycycline and for Q fever, and 34 control subjects. Nearly one quarter of the treated patients gained anywhere from two to 13 kg (five to 30 lbs), while none of the controls exhibited . Patients typically received treatment for 18 months.

"Doxycycline and hydroxychloroquine treatment exhibited a reproducible effect on the community structure of the gastrointestinal microbiota, with treated patients presenting significantly lower concentrations of beneficial bacteria, Bacteroidetes, Firmicutes, and Lactobacilli," says coauthor Angelakis Emmanouil, of Unite de Recherche sur les Maladies Infectieuses et Tropicales Emergentes (URMITE), CNRS, Marseille.

"Reproducible" refers to the fact that the same effect is seen in all the treated patients with weight gain. That strengthens the connection between the diminished numbers of bacterial species and the weight gain.

The finding that one in four patients had weight gain suggests that particular subgroups of patients treated for Q fever are vulnerable to weight gain. In research published last year, Raoult and others showed that the vulnerable subgroups could be predicted by the composition of their prior to .

The investigators conclude that their results highlight the need for reduced calorie diets for undergoing long-term antibiotic treatment, especially with doxycycline.

Q fever causes endocarditis, an infectious inflammation of the inner lining of the heart. Endocarditis can damage the heart valves, and has a high mortality rate.

Hydroxychloroquine is an antimalarial drug that is also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and lupus erythematosus.

Explore further: A tricky balancing act: Antibiotics versus the gut microbiota

More information: A copy of the manuscript can be found online at aac.asm.org/content/early/2014 … 425-13.full.pdf+html . The final version of the article is scheduled for the June 2014 issue of the Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

Related Stories

A tricky balancing act: Antibiotics versus the gut microbiota

March 10, 2014
Antibiotics are valuable, potentially life-saving tools that have significantly reduced human morbidity and mortality. Unfortunately, antibiotics may also have unintended consequences from their off-target effects that may ...

Antibiotics disrupt gut flora in infants: Recovery still incomplete after 8 weeks

November 9, 2012
Eight weeks after antibiotic treatment of infants, the diversity of gastrointestinal flora remained diminished, although the number of individual bacteria was back to normal, according to a paper in the November 2012 issue ...

Studies of gut flora in infants and toddlers could lead to better health

March 20, 2014
Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according ...

Gastric bypass surgery alters gut microbiota profile along the intestine

July 10, 2012
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that gastric bypass surgery ...

Losing or gaining weight after joint replacement affects how well patients do

March 14, 2014
While many overweight patients have the best intentions to lose weight after joint replacement, a study at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) finds that although some are able to achieve this goal, equal numbers of patients ...

Recommended for you

Creation of synthetic horsepox virus could lead to more effective smallpox vaccine

January 19, 2018
UAlberta researchers created a new synthetic virus that could lead to the development of a more effective vaccine against smallpox. The discovery demonstrates how techniques based on the use of synthetic DNA can be used to ...

Study ends debate over role of steroids in treating septic shock

January 19, 2018
The results from the largest ever study of septic shock could improve treatment for critically ill patients and save health systems worldwide hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

New approach could help curtail hospitalizations due to influenza infection

January 18, 2018
More than 700,000 Americans were hospitalized due to illnesses associated with the seasonal flu during the 2014-15 flu season, according to federal estimates. A radical new approach to vaccine development at UCLA may help ...

Zika virus damages placenta, which may explain malformed babies

January 18, 2018
Though the Zika virus is widely known for a recent outbreak that caused children to be born with microencephaly, or having a small head, and other malformations, scientists have struggled to explain how the virus affects ...

Certain flu virus mutations may compensate for fitness costs of other mutations

January 18, 2018
Seasonal flu viruses continually undergo mutations that help them evade the human immune system, but some of these mutations can reduce a virus's potency. According to new research published in PLOS Pathogens, certain mutations ...

Study reveals how MRSA infection compromises lymphatic function

January 17, 2018
Infections of the skin or other soft tissues with the hard-to-treat MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) bacteria appear to permanently compromise the lymphatic system, which is crucial to immune system function. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.