2019 Volume 38 Issue 4 Pages 129-139
The prevalence of allergy has increased over the past decades, and this may be attributed in part to the intestinal microbiota dysfunction caused by antibiotics during early life. In this study, we evaluated how vancomycin could impair the intestinal microbiota during early life and then, consequently, alter susceptibilities to allergic diseases and related immunity in late adulthood. BALB/c (n=54) neonatal mice were used in this study. Mice in the vancomycin group were orally administered vancomycin for 21 days, while those in the allergy and control groups were perfused with the same volume of saline solution. Then, mice in the allergy and vancomycin groups were immunized with intraperitoneal ovalbumin with alum. At postnatal day 21, vancomycin significantly alter the fecal microbiota, with lower Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes counts and higher Proteobacteria counts. At postnatal day 56, the Bacteroidetes count was still significantly lower in vancomycin-treated mice. The serum IgE level in the control group was significantly lower than that in the vancomycin and allergy groups. The serum interleukin (IL)-6 level and the IL-4/interferon (IFN)-γ values were significantly higher in the vancomycin-treated mice, but the serum IL-17A level was lower than that in the control group. These results indicate that modifications of the intestinal microbiota composition during early life may be, at least in part, the key mechanism underlying the effect of vancomycin that influences the immune function of host animals in the adult stages.