Antibiotics as Instigators of Microbial Dysbiosis: Implications for Asthma and Allergy

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The human body and its resident microbiota form a complex ecosystem, shaped by both inherited and environmental factors. The use of antibiotics represents an extreme example of environmental pressure and can broadly disrupt the microbial landscape. The benefits that antibiotics have brought to modern medicine are unquestionable; however, their overuse comes with consequences, including the potential for secondary infections by opportunistic pathogens and the spread of antibiotic resistance. Here, we discuss the implications of microbial dysbiosis driven by antibiotics, with a focus on potential links with allergy and asthma. We review epidemiological data on humans, as well as mechanistic studies performed in animal models, and highlight gaps in current knowledge, which if addressed, could drive the design of novel therapeutic strategies and improved clinical care.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)697-711
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Immunology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018


  • allergy
  • antibiotics
  • microbiota

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