Toronto :  Taking antibiotics at an early age can increase the risk of contracting specific diseases down the road, a new study has warned, reports PTI.

The research by the University of British Columbia (UBC) aims to help scientists understand how different antibiotics affect bacteria that play a positive role in promoting a healthy immune system. Researchers found that receiving antibiotic treatments early in life can increase susceptibility to specific diseases later on.

Most bacteria living in the gut play a positive role in promoting a healthy immune system, but antibiotic treatments often do not discriminate between good and bad bacteria. “This is the first step to understanding which bacteria are absolutely necessary to develop a healthy immune system later in life,” said Kelly McNagny, a professor in the Department of Medical Genetics who led the research along with UBC microbiologist Brett Finlay.

Researchers tested the impact of two antibiotics, vancomycin and streptomycin, on newborn mice.

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