Early-life formula feeding is associated with infant gut microbiota alterations and an increased antibiotic resistance load

  28 October 2021

Infants are at a high risk of acquiring fatal infections, and their treatment relies on functioning antibiotics. Antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) are present in high numbers in antibiotic-naive infants’ gut microbiomes, and infant mortality caused by resistant infections is high. The role of antibiotics in shaping the infant resistome has been studied, but there is limited knowledge on other factors which affect the antibiotic resistance burden of the infant gut.

The novel finding that formula exposure is correlated with a higher neonatal ARG burden lays the foundation that clinicians should consider feeding mode in addition to antibiotic use during the first months of life to minimize the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant gut bacteria in infants.

Author(s): Katariina M M Pärnänen, Jenni Hultman, Melina Markkanen, Reetta Satokari, Samuli Rautava, Regina Lamendella, Justin Wright, Christopher J McLimans, Shannon L Kelleher, Marko P Virta
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