General, Research, Technology

Taking antibiotics during pregnancy can cause newborn lung disease

As you know, the average durationpregnancy is about 40 weeks or 280 days. In medical practice, a child is considered fully terminated if he was born from 38 to 42 weeks of gestation, but absolutely at any time there is a risk of premature birth, which pose a great threat to the viability of the child, whose vital organs are not yet ready for independent functioning outside the womb. Fortunately, thanks to the development of medical technologies, specialists can already increase the chances of survival of children born after 23 weeks of fetal development. However, scientists have found that taking antibiotics during pregnancy significantly reduces the chance of a premature baby surviving due to the development of pulmonary dysplasia syndrome.

A baby born at 23 weeks can easily fit in the palm of your hand and weighs only about 500 grams

How do antibiotics affect newborn survival?

Thanks to progress in the development of neonatology,doctors can save even the most extremely premature baby, providing him with the necessary therapy for subsequent development. But despite careful medical care for premature babies, they still experience various serious illnesses. Due to the insufficient development of the respiratory system, in premature infants, scars form in the lungs and an inflammatory process develops. Damage to the lungs at an early stage of development leads to a chronic lung disease called bronchopulmonary dysplasia. This disease is considered one of the most serious and lasting complications in premature babies, which can accompany them throughout life.

Scientists have found that this disease is directlyIt is associated with oxygen and breathing apparatus, with the help of which specialists ensure the vital activity of the child's body. In the study of asthmatic diseases and pneumonia, scientists found that the substances that cause inflammation are conditionally pathogenic and colonize the intestinal microflora. The reason for exceeding the number of microorganisms that caused inflammation in the body may be a weakening of the immune system.

A baby born long before the expected day of birth has a greater likelihood of disability

In order to identify the reasons for whichsubsequently, bronchopulmonary dysplasia develops in children, scientists tried to identify events that could affect the development of the child in the womb. It turned out that one of the possible causes of the disease could be antibiotics. Scientists have found that mothers who were exposed to antibiotic treatment during pregnancy more often had children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia. But to check and prove this connection in humans, scientists have not yet succeeded. That is why experts conducted a study on mice, during which they tried to identify a causal relationship between antibiotics and the disease.

See also: How dangerous is it to give antibiotics to children?

According to an article published on TheConversation.com, the goal of the experiment was to study the effect of antibiotics on lung development in offspring. To do this, scientists sorted pregnant mice into four groups depending on the duration of pregnancy. The first group was exposed to antibiotics throughout pregnancy and during the first two weeks after birth. The second group of mice was exposed only during pregnancy, the third group was exposed only during feeding, and the fourth was used as a control and no antibiotics were used.

After the birth of the offspring, all mice were subjectedexposure to oxygen by analogy with premature human babies after birth, provoking the possible development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. As a result of the experiment, it turned out that all newborn mice developed some degree of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, but in mice whose mothers were exposed to longer antibiotic exposure, this disease developed to the most severe degree.

Exposure to antibiotics caused a more severe form of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in mice

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Presumably antibiotics couldaffect the microbiome of the mother, causing changes in it, subsequently inherited by the offspring. Thus, the immune cells of newborns could not counteract the developing pathology due to the initial weakness of the body's defenses. Thus, at present, scientists do not recommend the use of antibiotics for pregnant women, however, in the absence of alternative methods of treatment, doctors must take into account all the risks not only for the mother, but also for the fetus.