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Inflammation: Treatment with antibiotics increases the risk of death

The flu should not be treated with antibiotics

The effects of overuse of antibiotics have been reported for years. Now, a recent study shows that taking antibiotics for flu also causes the mild flu disease to be deadly.

Study by the Francis Crick Institute in London has shown that use of antibiotics in the treatment of flu increases the risk of this disease being deadly. The results of the study are now published in the journal "Cell Reports" in English.

Inflammation: Treatment with antibiotics increases the risk of death 2
The flu should never be treated with antibiotics. (Image: Sonja Birkelbach /

The likelihood of lethal flu has tripled

Bacteria in the intestines help the immune system respond to early signs of the lungs that attack the lungs and suppress the infection, the researchers explain. Tests on mice infected with influenza found that the likelihood of dying flu was three times higher after treatment with antibiotics than untreated mice. This is another proof that antibiotics should not be taken or prescribed lightly, the authors emphasize.

Dangers to resistance to antibiotics

Healthcare systems around the world are struggling with an increasing threat of antibiotic resistance, which could even make it easy to get infected by simple injuries and illnesses. Unfortunately, antibiotics are often used inappropriately, such as viral infections where antibiotics are ineffective, or used for fattening cattle. This leads to infections that can not be treated, such as super-gonorrhea, which do not respond to any form of antibiotics.

The role of intestinal bacteria in influenza

Intestinal bacteria ensure that antiviral genes remain active in the lungs and can react as the first line of defense when the flu occurs. Lung connective cells are used for influenza propagation viruses. Intestinal bacteria are sending a signal that prevents the rapid replication of the virus.

Antibiotics have led to five times more viruses in the lungs

One-third of the mice studied in the study survived if they received antibiotics before they were infected, compared to 80 percent if the animals were not treated with antibiotics. Two days after influenza infection, mice receiving antibiotics had five times more lung viruses, researchers reported.

Antibiotic use should be prevented

It has been discovered that antibiotics can eliminate early swine flu resistance. This is an additional proof that medicines should not be taken or given lightly for flu. Improper use not only promotes resistance to antibiotics and kills useful intestinal bacteria but also makes people susceptible to viruses. The results of the study are not relevant to humans alone, as similar risks may occur for cattle treated with antibiotics.

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  • Konrad C. Bradley, Katja Finsterbusch, Daniel Schnepf, Serge Y. Fuchs, Peter Staeheli: Tonic Interferon Microbiotic Signals to Protect Mental Stromal Cells from Infectious Infective Infection, Cell Reports (Question: 03.07.2019), Cell Reports