Misuse of antibiotics may lead to antibiotic resistance, making bacterial infections tough to fight off. New research claims antibiotics could cause viral infection vulnerability as well. Antibiotic resistance occurs when infections are cured by normal antibiotics. It is caused when antibiotics are overused or misused against viral infections, which is an ineffective method.
The research from FCI in London suggests antibiotics can cause viral infections in the lungs. The study was published in Cell Reports, which stated that bacterial strains in the gut use protein signaling, which aids cells to prevent flu viruses from spreading all over. Antibiotic overuse wipes out flu resistance, stated Andreas Wack, a lead researcher.
Mice were tested with gut bacteria for this conclusion. Through the tests, they observed 80% of mice with gut bacteria to have survived flu virus infections. But out of those who received this antibiotic mixture, only about 33% of them survived.
Further research was required for checking the reasons behind viral infection susceptibility. Type 1 interferon signaling was found the key for stopping flu virus replication in one’s lungs. Driven by gut bacteria, it aided flu recovery. Lung lining cells were found responsible for flu resistance as well.
This research showed gut bacteria to be vital for the immunity system, with antibiotics upsetting this balance. Gut bacteria helped cells stay prepped for an attack. Flu protection is also possible since antiviral operations have already commenced when viruses arrive, preemptively winning the battle this way.
However, without any gut bacteria, this isn’t possible, thus damaging the immune system in a massive manner. This is likely to change the current understanding of natural defense mechanisms against infections by viruses. While previous studies focus on immunity cells, lining cells in the lungs are far more crucial, as they are sites for rapid multiplication of viruses.