Week 7: What do Antibiotics do to the Microbiome?

Apr 09, 2019

Hi everyone,

I am now taking the full dosage of probiotics instead of the primer. I was planning on tracking my diet to collect more data for the next time I sequence my DNA but I realized that I eat WAY too much and often to track all of it so I decided against it.

Over the next few weeks I will be looking into specific customers who have unique conditions or situations. I have the new results from their trial runs of the probiotics and I am creating a comparison between the before and after of the probiotics.This week I will be looking into someone who has taken antibiotics. I am curious as to how taking antibiotics will affect the microbiome. The goal of taking antibiotics is to kill pathogenic microbes, however, killing commensal and beneficial microbes in the process

After looking at the results of the sample I saw that several probiotic strains had decreased in abundance and others had vanished all together. Several probiotic strains in the Bifidobacterium species had greatly decreased in quantity. This is a very harmful outcome in the long run because this species of bacteria is known for preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and aiding the immune system. In addition to the decrease in probiotic strains, the one harmful bacteria detected at relative abundance before taking antibiotics tripled in abundance after.

Not only do antibiotics destroy helpful bacteria but many human pathogens are becoming resistant to antibiotic treatment after several exposures to antibiotics resulting in nothing but destruction of beneficial bacteria.

Next week I will exploring another unique situation and how it changes the microbiome!

Jake

3 Replies to “Week 7: What do Antibiotics do to the Microbiome?”

  1. Harleen D. says:

    This is super interesting considering how prevalent antibiotic resistance has become. Keep up the good work!

  2. Jaydev B. says:

    Wow! That antibiotic isn’t good!

    Is it possible to introduce antibiotically resistant beneficial bacteria into humans? Is it possible that they might conjugate with “bad” bacteria and that entire scheme could backfire?

    Also, I found out that babies get their gut bacteria from the placenta! There are a ton of good bacteria living there! Which means that if a mother had antibiotically resistant good bacteria, all her kids would get it as well! Unless I’m wrong, in which case, scratch that. But that’s what I found on this page (https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn25603-babys-first-gut-bacteria-may-come-from-mums-mouth/).

  3. Saunak Sahu says:

    With the prevalence of so-called “superbugs,” the destruction of useful bacteria in the microbiome is worrying. Keep up the good work!

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