Do acid blockers let microbes reach the colon? | Science News

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Do acid blockers let microbes reach the colon?

12:59pm, October 17, 2006

Suppressing stomach acid while taking antibiotics may allow antibiotic-resistant bacteria to colonize the intestines, a study shows.

Researchers had previously linked stomach-acid suppression to pneumonia (SN: 10/30/04, p. 277: Available to subscribers at Affairs of the Heartburn: Drugs for stomach acid may hike pneumonia risk). To test the effect of acid-suppressing drugs on bacteria passing through the stomach to the intestines, researchers gave mice two kinds of live, resistant bacteria via a feeding tube over 3 days. The animals then received an acid-suppressing drug, the antibiotic clindamycin, or both. The acid blocker was a proton-pump inhibitor called pantoprazole.

The bacteria colonized the intestines of the mice receiving both the acid blocker and the antibiotic more than three times as often as they did the intestines of mice receiving the antibiotic alone, says Curtis J. Donskey, an infectious-disease physician at the Louis Stokes Cl

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