Infection Control

Some antibiotics could wipe out "good" microbes

Infection Control Weekly Monitor, August 26, 2009

A study published in the June issue of the Journal of Infection and Immunity found that certain antibiotics could damage some of the “good” microscopic bugs in the gut.

The study, conducted by Vincent Young at the University of Michigan Medical School, tested mice and found some antibiotics permanently decrease the diversity of microscopic bugs that inhabit the gut and may be beneficial, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The gut harbors thousands of bugs, most of which are still a mystery to scientists. In 2007 the National Institutes of Health (NIH) launched the Human Microbiome Project, a five-year, $140 million project to study these micro-organisms. This summer NIH awarded more than $42 million to explore how these organisms work in the human body.

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