International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

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Feb 18th: Is antibiotic treatment during pregnancy & infancy associated with development of allergic diseases.

The role of antibiotics in the development of allergies has repeatedly been discussed, as results remain inconsistent. This new study indicated an association between pre‐ & postnatal antibiotic exposure and subsequent development of allergies (atopic dermatitis, food allergy, asthma, atopic sensitization and allergic rhinitis).

A total of 1080 children were included in this analysis. The study showed show positive associations between exposure to antibiotics and allergies, mainly with atopic dermatitis and food allergy within the first year of life, after prenatal exposure and, atopic dermatitis and asthma after postnatal exposure to antibiotics in children born in rural settings.

The results suggest that reducing the need for antibiotic prescribing through good hygiene has a role to play not only in tackling antibiotic resistance but also in reducing risks of development of childhood allergic diseases.  The authors concluded “Keeping this and the increasing microbial resistance in mind, appropriate prescription of antibiotics is all the more important”

The paper can be found at: Metzler S, Frei R, Schmaußer‐Hechfellner E, von Mutius E, Pekkanen J, Karvonen AM, Kirjavainen PV, Dalphin JC, Divaret‐Chauveau A, Riedler J, Lauener R. Association between antibiotic treatment during pregnancy & infancy and the development of allergic diseases. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology. 2019 Feb 8. https://doi.org/10.1111/pai.13039

Earlier research papers investigating the role of antibiotics in development of allergies are reviewed in an IFH paper at http://www.ifh-homehygiene.org/review/are-antibiotics-contributory-facto...