7 research outputs found

    Impact of antimicrobial therapy on the gut microbiome

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    The gut microbiome is now considered an organ unto itself and plays an important role in health maintenance and recovery from critical illness. The commensal organisms responsible for the framework of the gut microbiome are valuable in protection against disease and various physiological tasks. Critical illness and the associated interventions have a detrimental impact on the microbiome. While antimicrobials are one of the fundamental and often life-saving modalities in septic patients, they can also pave the way for subsequent harm because of the resulting damage to the gut microbiome. Contributing to many of the non-specific signs and symptoms of sepsis, the balance between the overuse of antimicrobials and the clinical need in these situations is often difficult to delineate. Given the potency of antimicrobials utilized to treat septic patients, the effects on the gut microbiome are often rapid and long-lasting, in which case full recovery may never be observed. The overgrowth of opportunistic pathogens is of significant concern as they can lead to infections that become increasingly difficult to treat. Continued research to understand the disturbances within the gut microbiome of critically ill patients and their outcomes is essential to help develop future therapies to circumvent damage to, or restore, the microbiome. In this review, we discuss the impact of the antimicrobials often used for the treatment of sepsis on the gut microbiota