Infant antibiotic use linked to adult diseases

May 13, 2015, University of Minnesota

A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota has found a three-way link among antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria, and disease later in life. The imbalances in gut microbes, called dysbiosis, have been tied to infectious diseases, allergies and other autoimmune disorders, and even obesity, later in life.

The study, led by Biomedical Informatics and Computational Biology program graduate student fellow Pajau Vangay, also developed a with potential clinical importance for measuring healthy development of bacteria in the gut of . The findings were published today in the scientific journal Cell Host & Microbe.

Antibiotics are by far the most common prescription drugs given to children. They account for about one-fourth of all medications prescribed to children, with a third of these prescriptions considered unnecessary. Other studies have shown profound short- and long-term effects of antibiotics on the diversity and composition of the bacteria in our bodies, called our microbiome.

"Diseases related to metabolism and the are increasing dramatically, and in many cases we don't know why," said the study's senior author Dan Knights, a computational biologist and assistant professor in the University of Minnesota's Department of Computer Science and Engineering and Biotechnology Institute. "Previous studies showed links between antibiotic use and unbalanced , and others showed links between unbalanced gut bacteria and adult disease. Over the past year we synthesized hundreds of studies and found evidence of strong correlations between antibiotic use, changes in gut bacteria, and disease in adulthood."

Knights and his colleagues developed a framework to map how antibiotics may be acting in the gut to cause disease later in life. In the case of allergies, for example, the use of antibiotics may eradicate key gut bacteria that help immune cells mature. These cells would have been essential for keeping the immune system at bay when confronted with allergens. Even if these bacteria return, the immune system remains impaired. Related to obesity, antibiotic-induced changes in the gut microbiota resulted in increased levels of short-chain fatty acids that affect metabolism.

The study also examined the development of bacteria in the gut. Researchers demonstrated that an infant's age could be predicted within 1.3 months based on the maturity of their gut bacteria. This finding could lead to a clinical test and interventions for children whose microbiome is developmentally delayed due to antibiotics or other factors.

"We think these findings help develop a roadmap for future research to determine the health consequences of antibiotic use and for recommendations for prescribing them," Knights said. "The clinical test we demonstrated would also allow us to think about interventions at an early age."

Explore further: The infant gut microbiome: New studies on its origins and how it's knocked out of balance

More information: Cell Host & Microbe , … 1931-3128(15)00164-X

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1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2015

" had been thought that odor was perceived in a manner similar to color; a small number of receptors would yield different perceptions depending upon the proportion of receptors stimulated by a given odorant. ...odor perception is more akin to the immune system workings where multitudes of receptors are each uniquely responsive to chemical structures (Bartoshuk and Beauchamp, 1994; Buck and Axel, 1991). Moreover, these receptor proteins are chemically and structurally similar to those that bind neurotransmitters and hormones (Buck and Axel, 1991). Thus, the immunological forces spoken of under the heading of "The Inner World," such as those associated with MHC, can interact with the stimuli to which we now attend. With appropriate feed-back mechanisms, one might expect social-environmental sensory stimuli to also modify sensory receptors."
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2015
Altering the gut microbiome alters metabolic networks linked to genetic networks via nutrient-dependent RNA-directed DNA methylation and RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate all cell types in all individuals of all genera via their biophysically constrained chemistry of protein folding.

The difference that one amino acid substitution can make during the life history transitions of humans is exemplified in the context of systems complexity in "Oppositional COMT Val158Met effects on resting state functional connectivity in adolescents and adults"

Theorists who claim that antibiotic resistance "evolves" are biologically uninformed. Use of antibiotics shows us the microbiome is linked from ecological variation to ecological adaptations via RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions, which is why alterations of gut microbes leads to long-term consequences manifested in health and pathology.
1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2015
"Microbiota composition and ecological network had distinctive features at each sampled stage, in accordance with functional maturation of the microbiome. These findings establish a framework for understanding the interplay between the gut microbiome and the human body in early life." --

Use of the term "ecological network" is interesting in the context above. I'm surprised that it has taken so long for most serious scientists to realize that ecological variation is linked to ecological adaptation via RNA-mediated metabolic networks and genetic networks.

Even those who were taught to believe in mutation-driven evolution should have asked long ago: "Is there a model for that?" -- before joining the ranks of other serious scientists who are "Combating Evolution to Fight Disease" http://www.scienc...88.short

Why wait. Here's your opportunity to ask a theorist about their biologically-based model.
5 / 5 (1) May 17, 2015
Why wait. Here's your opportunity to ask a theorist about their biologically-based model.

For the fifth (I think) time now:

1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2015
You and your kind are killing people. You don't know how cell type differentiation occurs, and don't want others to learn about the RNA-mediated amino acid substitutions that differentiate the cell types of all cells in all individuals of all genera.

The effects of amino acid composition on yeast prion formation and prion domain interactions

Proteins don't evolve and neither do species.

"We cannot conceive of a global external factor that could cause, during this time, parallel evolution of amino acid compositions of proteins in 15 diverse taxa that represent all three domains of life and span a wide range of lifestyles and environments. Thus, currently, the most plausible hypothesis is that we are observing a universal, intrinsic trend that emerged before the last universal common ancestor of all extant organisms."

1 / 5 (1) May 17, 2015
The links between existing metabolic networks and genetic networks "...emerged before the last universal common ancestor of all extant organisms."

Quit regurgitating the garbage you've been taught to believe in, and address the facts. For example: How did the bacterial flagellum re-evolve over the weekend?

See: http://www.the-sc...ewiring/

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