What is the connection between juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and antibiotics?

A new study recently presented at the annual scientific conference of the American College of Rheumatology in Boston, USA, found a relationship between antibiotic use by children and an increased risk of juvenile idiopathic arthritis.

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis /JIA/, also called juvenile rheumatoid arthritis /JURA/, is a disease of the joints, occurring up to the age of 16 and manifested by painful sensations, swelling, swelling and stiffness of the joints. In rare cases, these symptoms are complemented by rashes, fever and inflammation of the eyes.

According to statistics, about 300,000 children in the USA suffer from some form of arthritis, among which JIA is the most common
JIA is an autoimmune disease, that is, it develops when the immune system attacks the cells of the own body . However, the reasons for its occurrence are still unknown.

‚ÄúPrevious research suggests that half of JIA cases are linked to a genetic predisposition. Other studies do not find a connection with any risk factor,” notes one of the study’s co-authors, Dr. Daniel Horton.

However, the authors of the present study were particularly interested in previous studies showing that the human microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that regulate metabolic and immune function) may be essential to the development of autoimmune diseases. , such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease.

Furthermore, the results of previous studies that starting the use of antibiotics from a very early age can trigger the development of irritable bowel syndrome.

Using the data from the medical records database in Great Britain, the scientists found 153 children up to the age of 16 who were diagnosed with JIA.

The researchers also randomly selected a group of children without a diagnosis of these diseases and used it as a control group. The scientists assessed the history of antibiotic therapy in both groups of children.

They found that children exposed to antibacterial preparations had a higher risk of developing juvenile idiopathic arthritis than those who did not take antibiotics.

Also, the authors of the study indicate that the greatest risk of developing autoimmune joint disease existed for children who had undergone multiple courses of treatment with different antibiotic preparations.

These results remained unchanged even after the children’s age at the time of antibiotic therapy and other co-factors were taken into account, the researchers said.

According to Dr. Horton, the results of this study will be an addition to the many studies that are currently being conducted and are aimed at detecting the side effects of the use of antibiotics by children. He also adds:

“Of course, antibiotics are necessary and necessary medications if there are indications for their use. At the same time, these preparations are often prescribed in vain, for example, for the treatment of acute viral infections that resolve on their own without prescribing treatment.
If the connection between antibiotics and juvenile idiopathic arthritis is confirmed in other studies, then doctors and parents would have another reason to avoid the unjustified appointment of courses of treatment with antibiotics and antibacterial drugs will be given to children only in the presence of strictly defined indications.”

In this regard, in September 2014, in several medical publications in Great Britain, the startling information was published that every year doctors in the United Kingdom write 11.4 million prescriptions for antibiotics to children and teenagers, a similar phenomenon is also observed in our country, which sometimes it is also due to parents putting pressure on doctors to prescribe antibiotic preparations.

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