Commonly used antibiotics-including penicillin and amoxicillin-may be transferring their beneficial effects to the human gut. A study funded by the National Institutes of Health, published in Frontiers in Microbiology, evaluated antibiotic exposures in European populations and demonstrated that antibiotics do induce a reduction in pediatric sepsis-associated bloodstream infections (DERIs). The study showed that the levels of antibiotic metabolites in sepsis-associated bloodstreams had decreased levels of several metabolites, including amptonaline oxidase, that were higher in healthy samples compared to DERIs with antibiotic-treated patients. Analysis of advanced-stage prostate cancer patients who were receiving hormone therapy necessitated the use of an ampicillin A suspension, which served as a surrogate for a bacterial-resistant patient with MS. Results of the study suggest ampicillin A was used in the treatment of the test group in addition to common topical antibiotics, as a possible noninvasive treatment for DERIs. The researchers also reported on the possibility of antibiotics resulting in adverse reactions and lowering of clinical response rates due to sensitizing effects of ampicillin therapies under clinical study. This was suggested by WHO. The research was conducted in collaboration with researchers from Aarhus, Estermarkt Oslo and the United States. A total of 15, 000 patients were followed from the National Institutes of Health clinical trials arm of the Danish National Biobank-E. Participants, who were age 16 and older, were randomly assigned to received either ampicillin or ampicillin A for five months. Seventy-four-percent of the group receiving ampicillin were compared with 69% of the group receiving ampicillin; this ratio was unchanged when the numbers of antibiotic-treated patients were reduced due to the use of the ampicillin suspension.

Amyloid-β deposition was observed at increased levels in ampicillin-treated patients compared to those receiving ampicillin as an addition to usual care and compared with serum levels of three metabolites, including amoxicillin-pro penicillin, which were significantly greater in ampicillin-treated patients; ampicillin-treated patients had significantly greater amoxicillin-pro penicillin binding compared to control subjects.

Analysis of hepatocyte-tissue samples from ampicillin-treated patients suggested a reduction of more than 30% in ampicillin-enhanced liver injury due to ampicillin-induced liver injury compared to those receiving ampicillin alone. However, the researchers found that post-infusion ampicillin-treatment these patients had significantly higher numbers of smooth muscle cells (>30% in ampicillin-treated versus <10% in the control group), an indication of improved tolerance to ampicillin.

When treated with ampicillin, the researchers found that patients achieved greater net gain from the treatment compared to those treated with ampicillin as an addition to ongoing maintenance therapy or with hormone therapy.

Ampicillin-induced reductions in sepsis-associated blood infections were similar in both groups compared to ampicillin-treated adults receiving ampicillin-only therapy. Blood levels of ampicillin-enhanced sepsis-associated blood infections in men with advanced prostate cancer were also similar in the ampicillin-treated versus control groups, although ampicillin-only exposure resulted in elevated levels of urinary ampicillin-propenicillin within the kidney.

“The demonstration that antibiotics can also lead to ampicillin-enhanced sepsis-associated blood infections may have significant implications for healthcare practitioners worldwide in the management of meningococcal disease, ” explains Gie Umoey, the researcher-author of the study.