Microbiome Compromised by Antibiotics, Antiseptics


Antibiotic and antiseptic applications to the skin can disturb the skin microbiome beyond the product’s wear-time and targeted microbes. According to a new study in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, these treatments can impact resident microorganisms alongside the offending ones, such the most common culprit of skin infection, Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus).

“This gives us a better understanding of how topical antimicrobials affect the skin microbiome and what kind of impact their disturbance can have in the context of pathogenic colonization. This helps us anticipate their potential effects,” said Elizabeth Grice, Ph.D., senior author.


Researchers tested a variety antibiotics and antiseptics on hairless mice.

Mice were treated with antibiotics having narrow microbe targets and containing bacitracin, neomyxin and prlymyxin B. These tests showed immediate shifts in cutaneous populations of bacterial residents, which persisted for multiple days post-treatment.

In the antiseptic tests, however, neither the alcohol or povidone-iodine groups of mice experienced microbial change dramatic enough to be clustered into microbiome-based groups, as there was no discernible difference in the number of bacteria strains of the control and test groups.

While at varying degrees, both treatments ultimately removed bacteria that competes with the pathogenic S. aureus, which could lead to skin infections. In relation, researchers have already begun tests in human subjects to understand if there are similarities in how human skin works against infection.

Learn more about the research at medicalnewstoday.com (Source).

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