Breastfeeding protects infants from antibiotic-resistant bacteria

  17 October 2019

The researchers report three findings. First, infants who were breastfed for at least six months had a smaller number of resistant bacteria in their gut than babies who were breastfed for a shorter period or not at all. In other words, breastfeeding seemed to protect infants from such bacteria.

Second, antibiotic treatment of mothers during delivery increased the amount of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in the infant gut. This effect was still noticeable six months after delivery and treatment.

The third finding was that breast milk also contains bacteria resistant to antibiotics and that the mother is likely to pass these bacteria on to the child through milk. Nevertheless, breastfeeding reduced the number of resistant bacteria in the infant gut, an indication of the benefits of breastfeeding for infants.

Further reading: Medical Xpress
Author(s): University of Helsinki
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