Decreasing antibiotic use, the gut microbiota, and asthma incidence in children: evidence from population-based and prospective cohort studies

Study (n=2,644) reports reduction in the incidence of paediatric asthma observed in recent years might be an unexpected benefit of prudent antibiotic use during infancy, acting via preservation of the gut microbial community.

SPS commentary:

At the population level, this study found asthma incidence in children (aged 1–4 years) showed an absolute decrease of 7.1 new diagnoses per 1000 children, from 27.3 (26.8–28.3) per 1000 children to 20.2 (19.5–20.8) per 1000 children (a relative decrease of 26.0%). Reduction in incidence over the study period was associated with decreasing antibiotic use in infancy (age <1 year), from 1253.8 prescriptions (95% CI 1219.3–1288.9) per 1000 infants to 489.1 (467.6–511.2) per 1000 infants (p<0.0001).



The Lancet Respiratory Medicine