How Antibiotics Lead To Increased Risk Of Developing Fungal Infection

Patients prescribed antibiotics in healthcare centers or in hospitals to prevent sepsis and other bacterial infections are at really increased risk of developing a life-threatening fungal infection called candidiasis because of disruption to our immune system in the gut, a new recent study warned.

Candidiasis, a really life-threatening fungal infection, is more common among patients given antibiotics frequently in hospitals to treat or avoid sepsis as well as other bacterial infections, according to recent research.

Actually, gut microbiomes are well known to have genetically programmed methods for perfectly surviving antibiotic exposure.

Antibiotics Increased Risk Of Fungal Infection
Antibiotics easily lead to Increased Risk Of Fungal Infection

But the recent study, led by researchers from the University of Birmingham in the UK and the US National Institutes of Health, perfectly discovered that antibiotics easily disrupt the immune system in the intestines, clearly meaning that fungal infections become poorly controlled in that area.

The research team also found that where fungal infections developed, gut bacteria were also easily able to escape, leading to the additional risk of bacterial infection.

While the study, published in Cell Host and Microbe, perfectly demonstrated the actual potential for immune-boosting drugs, the researchers said their work also highlights how actually antibiotics can have additional effects on our bodies that easily affect how we strongly fight infection and disease.

This in turn underscores the real importance of careful stewardship of available antibiotics.

“We actually knew that antibiotics make fungal infections really worse, but the new and recent discovery that bacterial co-infections can also easily develop through these connections or interactions in the gut was surprising. These unbelievable factors can easily add up to a complicated clinical situation – and by perfectly understanding these underlying causes, doctors will be easier and better able to treat these patients effectively,” said lead author Dr. Rebecca Drummond, fungal immunologist at Birmingham.

In the recent study, the researcher team used mice treated with a broad-spectrum antibiotic cocktail(mix antibiotics) and then easily infected these animals with Candida albicans, the most common fungus that easily causes invasive candidiasis in humans. They surprisingly found that although infected mice had increased mortality, this was actually caused by infection in the intestine, rather than in the kidneys or other organs.

In a further step, the team perfectly pinpointed what parts of the immune system were missing from the gut after antibiotic treatment, and then added these back into the mice using immune-boosting drugs exactly similar to those used in humans. They found this amazing approach helped perfectly reduce the severity of the fungal infection.

The researchers actually followed up the proper experiment by studying hospital records, where they were able to perfectly show that similar co-infections might occur in human bodies after they have been completely treated with antibiotics.

If we talk about a number of death from taking antibiotics, an estimated 1.2 million people worldwide died in 2019 from antibiotic-resistant infections, and this death ratio or number is predicted to increase ten-fold by 2050.

The new “findings and researches demonstrate the possible consequences of using antibiotics in patients who are really at risk of developing fungal infections,” said Dr. Drummond. “If we perfectly limit or change how we actually prescribe antibiotics we can easily help reduce the number of people who become very ill from these additional infections – as well as tackling the huge and really growing problem of antibiotic resistance.”

Given the actual increasing problem of antibiotic resistance, it is now really more important that antibiotics are used carefully. So, research perfectly shows antibiotics might provide an additional risk of dangerous fungal infections. However, antibiotics are a big risk factor we can easily control. Fungal infections remain an important problem for human health, but studies really help us understand how to easily fight them.


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