US Pharm. 2014;39(9):55.

Vancouver, BC—Antibiotic treatments often do not discriminate against good and bad bacteria, but a recent study from the University of British Columbia provides insights into how different antibiotics affect good bacteria, which may lead to an understanding of which bacteria are essential for a healthy immune system later in life. Investigators tested the effect of vancomycin and streptomycin on newborn mice and found that although streptomycin increased susceptibility to hypersensitivity pneumonitis later in life, vancomycin had no effect. The difference in the antibiotics’ long-term effects can be attributed to how they changed the bacterial ecosystem in the gut. Investigators hope that these results will help pinpoint which bacteria will make humans less susceptible to disease, opening up the possibility of boosting helpful bacteria through the use of probiotics.

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