Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Eradicating dangerous bacteria may cause permanent harm

Date:
August 28, 2011
Source:
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine
Summary:
In the zeal to eliminate dangerous bacteria, it is possible that we are also permanently killing off beneficial bacteria as well, an expert warns.

In the zeal to eliminate dangerous bacteria, it is possible that we are also permanently killing off beneficial bacteria as well, posits Martin Blaser, MD, Frederick H. King Professor of Medicine, professor of Microbiology and chair of the Department of Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.

His commentary is published in the August 25 edition of the journal Nature.

Dr. Blaser sounded the alarm to the medical community and to the general public, that the widespread use of antibiotics may be having unintended consequences causing permanent changes in the body's protective, friendly flora and causing harm to the body's natural defense system. This may be even more dangerous to health than the creation of resistant "superbugs," which have garnered much attention over the last few years.

By the time a child in the US or other developed countries reaches the age of 18, s/he has already had on average 10-20 doses of antibiotics. These are in addition to the antibiotics that may be given to women while they are pregnant, and which may affect the normal bacteria that mothers transmit to their children.

The discovery and use of antibiotics has helped to increase life expectancy. However they are non-discriminatory and destroy even friendly bacteria, not just harmful ones. Scientists have found that some of the beneficial bacteria may never recover and that these extinctions may lead to increased susceptibility to infections and disease. As a result, antibiotic use could be contributing to the increases in obesity, allergies and asthma, inflammatory bowel disease, and type 1 diabetes that are occurring throughout the developed world.

Dr. Blaser urges physicians to curtail the use of these drugs immediately, and recommends that narrow spectrum, and more targeted drugs be used in their place. To be successful, this shift will require a significant effort to develop new antibacterials and new diagnostic tests that will permit the use of targeted agents.

"I believe that doctors of the future will be replacing "lost" members of our normal flora in young children to diminish the risk of development of these important and chronic diseases," said Dr. Blaser.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Martin Blaser. Antibiotic overuse: Stop the killing of beneficial bacteria. Nature, 2011; 476 (7361): 393 DOI: 10.1038/476393a

Cite This Page:

NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "Eradicating dangerous bacteria may cause permanent harm." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 August 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824131547.htm>.
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. (2011, August 28). Eradicating dangerous bacteria may cause permanent harm. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824131547.htm
NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine. "Eradicating dangerous bacteria may cause permanent harm." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824131547.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

Concern Grows Over Worsening Ebola Crisis

AFP (July 30, 2014) Pan-African airline ASKY has suspended all flights to and from the capitals of Liberia and Sierra Leone amid the worsening Ebola health crisis, which has so far caused 672 deaths in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Duration: 00:43 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey

AP (July 30, 2014) At least 20 New Jersey residents have tested positive for chikungunya, a mosquito-borne virus that has spread through the Caribbean. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo

AP (July 30, 2014) River otters were hitting the water slides to beat the summer heatwave on Wednesday at Ichikawa City's Zoological and Botanical Garden. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins