Background: Young children are frequently exposed to antibiotics, with the potential for collateral consequences to the gut microbiome. The impact of antibiotic exposures to off-target microbes (i.e., bacteria not targeted by treatment) and antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) is poorly understood. Methods: We used metagenomic sequencing data from paired stool samples collected prior to antibiotic exposure and at 1 year from over 200 infants and a difference-in-differences approach to assess the relationship between subsequent exposures and the abundance or compositional diversity of microbes and ARGs while adjusting for covariates. Results: By 1 year, the abundance of multiple species and ARGs differed by antibiotic exposure. Compared to infants never exposed to antibiotics, Bacteroides vulgatus relative abundance increased by 1.72% (95% CI: 0.19, 3.24) while Bacteroides fragilis decreased by 1.56% (95% CI: −4.32, 1.21). Bifidobacterium species also exhibited opposing trends. ARGs associated with exposure included class A beta-lactamase gene CfxA6. Among infants attending day care, Escherichia coli and ARG abundance were both positively associated with antibiotic use. Conclusion: Novel findings, including the importance of day care attendance, were identified through considering microbiome data at baseline and post-intervention. Thus, our study design and approach have important implications for future studies evaluating the unintended impacts of antibiotics. Impact: The impact of antibiotic exposure to off-target microbes and antibiotic resistance genes in the gut is poorly defined.We quantified these impacts in two cohort studies using a difference-in-differences approach. Novel to microbiome studies, we used pre/post-antibiotic data to emulate a randomized controlled trial.Compared to infants unexposed to antibiotics between baseline and 1 year, the relative abundance of multiple off-target species and antibiotic resistance genes was altered.Infants who attended day care and were exposed to antibiotics within the first year had a higher abundance of Escherichia coli and antibiotic resistance genes; a novel finding warranting further investigation.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|State||Published - Dec 2022|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health