People are still trying to understand the important as well as the complex role that the microbiome tends to play in human health. Work is still on regarding how antibiotics affect the gut microbiome. Moreover, research is on as to how well the recovery takes place, once the treatment is over. This week, a paper in Nature Microbiology finds that, after a course of wide-range of antibiotics, 12 men were able to recover to a normal level of microbiome within six months.
A person named Albert Palleja along with his colleagues initially collected stool samples from 12 healthy men. They wanted to see what their microbiomes looked like at the beginning. The study is less like a statement on what antibiotics do to people in general. It is more of a kind of exploration of what the possibilities seem to be. Then those 12 men took a cocktail of different sets of antibiotics, which are used for a number of conditions from drug-resistant bacterial meningitis to Chlamydia. After four days of treatment, the researchers began to track the process of eradication and partial survival. Similarly, the gradual growth along with the re-establishment of all these communities of gut microbiome was also looked at.
Soon after the treatment, the diverse nature of men microbiomes was reduced to a great extent. Six months had passed, when they once again managed to bounce back. The rich number of bacterial species could no longer be found. That clearly suggested, some microorganisms present originally may have lost permanently. Presence of some bacteria was not detected before the treatment but appeared later on in the samples. These results have come up only after one course of antibiotics. The Chief Scientist of the Project, Oluf Pedersen said that most of the people will notice numerous rounds of exposure to antibiotics. Treatment of antibiotic in groups like children along with the elderly is also quite likely to have different kinds of effects. This does not mean that antibiotic is bad. They are responsible for one of the most dramatic public health miracles of human history. Antibiotics can turn out to be a blessing for health preservation.