Disturbances of the gut microbiome have been implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases in children. Recently, an association was identified between childhood antibiotic exposure and development of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Researchers tested this association using the UK’s Health Improvement Network general practice database.
The researchers iden
tified 152 children with newly diagnosed JIA and matched them for age and gender with 1,520 randomly selected control children. After adjusting for other autoimmune conditions and previous infection, any antibiotic exposure was associated with an increased risk of deve
loping JIA (adjusted odds ratio 2.1, 95% confidence interval 1.2–3.5). The relat
ionship was dose-dependent and strongest for exposure within one year of diagnosis.
“Antibiotics may play a role in the pathogenesis of JIA,” the researchers conclude in the study, published in
(online, 20 July