Antibiotic contact can affect children’s health – healing practices

Cesarean births: Side effects of antibiotics

on cesarean births has been the mother of the world before the cut for decades antibiotics administered. This is done to protect against any postnatal infections. But with this method, these drugs reach newborn. And this contact can the health of the child have a lasting impact.

A new study examined the effect of the timing of maternal antimicrobial infection prophylaxis during cesarean section – before the start of surgery versus after the umbilical cord was squeezed – on the development of the intestinal flora in newborns. The work, published in the journal Gut Microbes, provides evidence that exposure to antibiotics during caesarean section can have a lasting impact on the health of newborns.

Multiple cesarean births

As the German Center for Infectious Disease Research (DZIF) writes in a recent publication, the number of cesarean births is increasing worldwide. To avoid complications with infections in the mothers, antimicrobial prophylaxis is standard in the maternity clinics during the procedure.

International guidelines recommend the administration of antimicrobial prophylaxis 30 to 120 minutes before surgery, which means that newborns come into contact with antibiotics while still in the womb.

Animal experiments have shown that exposure to antibiotics before or during birth has a significant influence on the composition of the intestinal microbiome – the whole of microorganisms in the intestine – with potential long-term consequences for the offspring; These include an increased risk of asthma in children, allergies and obesity (obesity).

Significantly affects the development of the intestinal flora

In a study conducted as part of DZIF, a research team from Lübeck, Kiel and Würzburg has now investigated the extent to which the time when antibiotics are given during a caesarean section – before the abdominal wall is opened or after the umbilical cord. is trapped – affects the microbial colonization of the intestines of newborns and the development of antimicrobial resistance affected.

To do this, the researchers compared the composition of the microbial flora in stool samples (meconium and samples taken at one month and one year of age) from infants whose mothers had been given antibiotics either directly before the caesarean section or only after the umbilical cord. the cord was pinched.

Using gene sequencing, the researchers determined the microbial composition of the different stool samples and developed prediction models for the resulting metabolic differences in the intestinal flora.

“Our study shows that the timing of prophylactic antibiotic administration can have a significant impact on the development of the intestinal flora – especially the predominance of certain bacterial genera and metabolic pathways – in children in the first year of life.”explains study leader Prof. Christoph Härtel.

Antibiotic resistance genes

In addition, researchers have discovered that genes for antibiotic resistance are acquired in the first few days of life.

During the study, which was conducted as a pilot study with a small number of a total of 40 participants, no clear correlation could be established between the presence of resistance genes and prenatal contact with antibiotics.

“The presence of resistance genes in the first few days of life is a warning signal and indicates that early contact with antibiotics should be avoided as much as possible so as not to jeopardize antimicrobial treatments that are needed later due to existing resistance.”, says co-supervisor Prof. Jan Rupp, DZIF researcher and director of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at Schleswig-Holstein University Hospital / University of Lübeck. (advertisement)

Author and source information

This text meets the requirements of specialist medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by doctors.


  • German Center for Infection Research: Contact with antibiotics during caesarean section can have a lasting effect on the health of newborns, (accessed: 9 May 2022), German Center for Infection Research
  • Verena Bossung et al .: Timing of antimicrobial prophylaxis for cesarean section is crucial for the development of intestinal microbiome in full-term infants; in: Gut Microbes, (published: 20/02/2022), Gut Microbes

Important note:
This article contains general advice only and should not be used for self-diagnosis or treatment. He can not replace a visit to the doctor.

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