The UN recently warned that antibiotic resistance will be the leading cause of death in the world by 2050. As the number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics continues to grow, infections will no longer be effectively treated.

Some estimates suggest that 200,000 newborns die worldwide every year of infections caused by antibiotic resistant bacteria. In fact, the number of bacteria resistant to antibiotics in the infant’s gut is ‘worrying’, according to microbiologist Katariina Pärnänen, of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry at the University of Helsinki (Finland), and leave infants vulnerable to diseases. “Babies are more likely to suffer from this than adults, even if the babies have never been given antibiotics”, said Pärnänen.

But, how -if babies have not taken antibiotics in their short life- those resistant bacteria end up in their guts? Previous studies had already found small babies had a high abundance of resistant bacteria, compared to adults, who supposedly had had on average several courses of antibiotics in life.

 

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