PENN (US)—Scientists have long pondered the seeming contradiction that taking broad-spectrum antibiotics over an extended period of time can lead to severe secondary bacterial infections. Now researchers may have figured out why.
Jeffrey Weiser, professor of microbiology and pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, likens the reason to starting a car: It’s much easier to start moving if a car is idling than if its engine is cold.
Similarly, if the immune system is already warmed up, it can better cope with pathogenic invaders. The study was published in Nature Medicine.
The implication of these initial findings in animals, Weiser says, is that prolonged antibiotic use in humans may effectively throttle down the immune system, such that it is no longer at peak efficiency.
Read the full story at: