Joe Sliman, MD, MPH, chief medical officer at Synthetic Biologics, explains how antibiotics affect the gut microbiome.
Interview Transcript (modified slightly for readability):
“Antibiotics affect the gut microbiome by inadvertently causing collateral damage when they are administered for some other indication. Their primary indication is what you give an antibiotic for, some infection like pneumonia or a urinary tract infection, and those antibiotics are usually eliminated from the body or are largely eliminated through the gut, but they’re still active. And so, they tend to take out, or kill, many of the organisms that are in the gut inadvertently; it’s like collateral damage.”
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According to reports in multiple media outlets, clinicians on the hurricane-ravaged island have already identified at least 10 cases of a rare water-borne bacterial infection, and they warn of the potential for more.
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