Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Antibiotic treatments during infancy, changes in nasal microbiota, and asthma development: Population-based cohort study

List of AuthorsToivonen L, Schuez-Havupalo L, Karppinen S, Waris M, Hoffman KL, Camargo CA, Hasegawa K, Peltola V

PublisherOxford University Press

Publication year2021

JournalClinical Infectious Diseases

Journal name in sourceClinical infectious diseases : an official publication of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

Journal acronymClin Infect Dis

Article numberciaa262

Volume number72

Issue number9




Self-archived copy’s web address

Early-life exposures to antibiotics may increase the risk of developing childhood asthma. However, little is known about the mechanisms linking antibiotic exposures to asthma. We hypothesized that changes in the nasal airway microbiota serve as causal mediator in the antibiotics-asthma link.In a population-based birth-cohort study in Finland, we identified longitudinal nasal microbiota profiles during age 2-24 months using 16S rRNA gene sequencing and unsupervised machine learning approach. We performed a causal mediation analysis to estimate the natural direct effect of systemic antibiotic treatments during age 0-11 months on risks of developing physician-diagnosed asthma by age 7 years and the natural indirect (causal mediation) effect through longitudinal changes in the nasal microbiota.In our birth cohort of 697 children, 8.0% later developed asthma. Exposure to ≥2 antibiotic treatments during age 0-11 months was associated with a 4.0% increase in the absolute risk of developing asthma (absolute increase, 95%CI, 0.9%-7.2%, P=0.006). Unsupervised clustering approach identified six longitudinal nasal microbiota profiles. Infants with a larger number of antibiotic treatments had a higher risk of having a profile with early Moraxella sparsity (per each antibiotic treatment, adjusted relative rate ratio, 1.38; 95%CI, 1.15-1.66; P<0.001). This effect of antibiotics on asthma was mediated, in part, by longitudinal changes in the nasal microbiota (natural indirect effect, P=0.008), accounting for 16% of the total effect.Early exposures to antibiotics were associated with an increased risk of asthma, and the effect was mediated, in part, by longitudinal changes in the nasal airway microbiota.

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Last updated on 2023-09-02 at 12:58