Home / Science / News /  Took antibiotics during COVID? It may have damaged your stomach health, new study finds

In particular after receiving antibiotic therapy, acute COVID-19 infection upsets the gut's normal balance of good and bad microbes, a study has found. The study might lead to the development of probiotic pills to treat any gastrointestinal abnormalities in future patients.

A high number of COVID-19 patients who reported experiencing gastrointestinal problems, both during the acute stages of their illness and while recovering. The study, which got underway in May 2020, was created to focus specifically on the microbiome.

It was usual practice to treat COVID-19 patients with a round of antibiotics early in the pandemic, before the development of vaccinations and other antiviral treatments, in an effort to combat any secondary infections, according to Martin Blaser, an author of the study.

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Large and diverse populations of microorganisms, the majority of which are found in the colon, inhabit the gastrointestinal system, skin and other organs in humans. The microbiome interacts with metabolism, the immune system, and the central nervous system to influence human health, as researchers have demonstrated over the past few decades. The microbiome serves a variety of purposes, the researchers said.

By counting the populations of bacteria in faeces samples collected from 60 people, researchers were able to study microbiomes. Twenty COVID-19 patients, 20 healthy donors and 20 COVID-19 recovered participants made up the research group.

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To determine the long-term impact on each patient's microbiome from COVID-19, the researchers want to keep testing and monitoring the microbiomes of study participants. Comparing the microbiomes of infected patients with the healthy and healed patients, they discovered significant variations in the populations of 55 distinct bacterial species.

"We wanted to gain a deeper understanding by looking at specimens that would give us an indication about the state of the gut microbiome in people," said Blaser.

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"What we found was that, while there were differences between people who had COVID-19 and those who were not ill, the biggest difference from others was seen in those who had been administered antibiotics," the professor at Rutgers University in the US added.

(With PTI inputs)


Sounak Mukhopadhyay

Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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