Researchers at the New York University Langone Medical Center have found more evidence that shows multiple uses of antibiotics can affect the development of a child. The researchers studied a group of female mice that have been treated with amoxicillin and tylosin -- two commonly used children's antibiotics. The animal test subjects were given the same doses of antibiotics as an average child in three brief courses, while another group received no drugs.
The researchers found out that these mice eventually developed larger bones and gained more weight compared to untreated mice. They have also found that the gut microbiome, which is present in the intestinal tract, was disrupted due to taking antibiotics.
While the study was tested on animals, thus posing a limitation, Martin Blaser, one of the authors of the research, pointed out the significance of their findings. "We have been using antibiotics as if there was no biological cost," he said, according to CBS.
The doctor also said that on average, children in America receive 10 courses of antibiotics by the time they are 10-years-old. Short, but high doses of tylosin brought a long-lasting impact on weight gain, thus contributing to the likelihood of obesity, while amoxicillin was more detrimental to bone growth, which is crucial to the increase in height.
Its findings support a previous study that have suggested exposure to antibiotics in children early on can impact obesity.
"[The antibiotics] changed the ecology of the microbiome in terms of the richness of the organisms, the diversity, and also what we call the community structure, or the nature of its composition," said Blaser via Medical News Today.
"Because the antibiotics used represent the classes most widely prescribed to children, and that our findings were consistent with effects of early life subtherapeutic antibiotic exposures, this new model extends hypotheses that early-life antibiotic exposures could have long-term developmental metabolic effects, as supported by animal models and human epidemiological studies," the researchers further said.
Their findings was published in Nature Communications.