Volume 62 (2018) Issue 2 Pages 155-160
Several environmental factors during the prenatal period transgenerationally affect the health of newborns in later life. Because low-dose antibiotics have been used for promoting the growth of crops and livestock in agriculture, humans may have ingested residual antibiotics for several decades. However, the effect of prenatal administration of low-dose antibiotics on newborns’ health in later life is unclear. In the present study, we found that prenatal treatment of murine mothers with low-dose antibiotics increased the abundance of bacteria of the phylum Firmicutes and the genera Clostridium IV and XIVa in feces from pups. In addition, the body fat percentage of mice in the antibiotic-treated group was higher than those in the control group at 12 weeks of age even though all pups were fed a standard diet. The body fat percentage of all mice was correlated with the abundance of fecal bacteria of Clostridium IV and XIVa. These results predict that low-dose antibiotic administration during the prenatal period affects the gut microbiota of newborns and possibly their health in later life.