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Antibiotics may make Fighting Flu Harder - Essay Example

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Antibiotics May Make Fighting Flue Harder Summary of the Article The specific article under examination is Ichinohe et al. (2010). Microbiota regulates immune defense against respiratory tract influenza a virus infection. From an overarching perspective this article indicates that taking antibiotics may not help one’s flu symptoms, and in some situations it may actually make it worse…
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Antibiotics may make Fighting Flu Harder
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Download file to see previous pages This is a significant consideration as the study in the article explores elements of effectiveness as related to these antibiotics. Another prominent background consideration is the nature of ‘commensal’ bacteria. While generally bacteria in the human body contribute to illnesses such as the flue, studies have argued that commensal bacteria actually contribute to the body’s proper functioning (Saey 2011; "Commensal science," 2010). Indeed, it’s been argued that there are over 100 billion commensal bacteria in the body that contribute to digestion, acquiring of nutrients, and most notably encouraging the immune system to prevent the colonization of harmful bacterial pathogens ("Commensal science," 2010). While the common flue is generally not considered life threatening its existence among nearly all members of the human species makes it a significant area of investigation; in this way the article is highly relevant in terms of its area of focus. This article advances considerations in this field of investigation through investigating how antibiotics might kill some commensal bacteria that actually prevent the onset of the flue. Discussion of the Science There are a number of elements of the article that are relevant from a scientific perspective. As noted the study examined processes where commensal bacteria regulated immune system actions. More specifically, the study considered how commensal microbiota regulate immunity in the respiratory mucosa through the activation of inflammasomes. While previous research had established that commensal bacteria stopped the establishment of harmful bacterial pathogens in the gut, this research established that they may also contribute to preventing the colonization of these harmful pathogens in the digestive system. The study implemented specific experiments on mice. In this way the scientists treated the mice for a month with four antibiotics that are typically given to humans for bacterial infections. The specific antibiotics administered were vancomycin, neomycin, metronidazole, and ampicillin. These antibiotics were administered orally in doses of 10, 11, 24, 26 mg, respectively. The mice were kept on this treatment program of antibiotics throughout the entire month long period. After treating the mice with these antibiotics, the mice were then infected with the flu. This flu combination was a 10 pfu sublethal dose of A/PR8 influenza virus. The researchers then observed and recorded the findings. In the observation process the Ig levels and T-cell responses were monitored and recorded. In these regards, the scientists identified that the antibiotics prevented the mice from creating interleukin-1 beta or IL-1 beta. Interleukin-1 beta has been understood to be an essential component that is used to combat influenza and other viruses. Additionally, the study demonstrated that both cytokine secretion and the frequency of the influenza virus specific CTLs were decreased. These results were then cross compared with another part of the mice internal system. In this way the study immunized the mice with ovalbumin in complete Freud’s adjuvant in the footpad. This aspect of the study allowed the researchers to compare the immunodeficiency response in the lung with that in the gut. The researchers were then able to identify how eliminating commensal bacteria in one part of the rodent’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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