Antibiotics during pregnancy may weaken a baby’s immune system

Exposure to antibiotics in the womb could potentially weaken babies’ immune systems and increase the risk of catching diseases like pneumonia later in life, new research from Cincinnati Children’s suggests.

The study in Science Translational Medicine was led by Hitesh Deshmukh, MD, a neonatologist and pulmonary biologist at Cincinnati Children’s.

Tests on pregnant mice showed the growth of immune cells that protect against lung disease was interrupted in babies when their mothers were given common antibiotics before birth.

Previous research on humans has indicated that antibiotics can affect the development of a baby’s immune system by wiping out both good and bad bacteria in the gut.

Read more about the research in news stories published by biomedical and mainstream news outlets, including the Independent and the Daily Mail newspapers in London.

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Cincinnati Children's News Team

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The members of the news team at Cincinnati Children's are responsible for telling the stories of the medical center. Stories of the families we serve, research and clinical care, safe and healthy practices and happenings at the hospital. If it has to do with Cincinnati Children's, Danielle, Nick, Jim, Kate, Rachel, Terry and Shannon will keep you informed.

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