They caution that “antidepressants are being increasingly used,” and that “microbial communities in the human gut are frequently exposed to them.”
Resistance would be generated by “horizontal gene transfer”, a biological mechanism “particularly relevant in bacteria”.
The study was done in the laboratory: “clinical validation of these findings will require designing trials in patients”
Every year 12 lakh people in the world die because of this., “We are facing one of the most important health problems facing humanity,” experts warn. bacterial resistance to antimicrobials It is already considered one of the leading causes of mortality worldwide.
today we talk about it again because A study has just been published which confirms that even antidepressants can generate resistance to antibiotics. Research published this Monday in the prestigious journal PNAS concludes that different types of antidepressants are capable of causing resistance to many antibiotics, Even administered for a short time.
less studied conversation
The study begins with the premise that: “Antidepressants are increasingly being consumed globally.” Therefore, “the microbial community of the human gut is often exposed to their, But they caution: “Little is known about the interactions between antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. This study aimed to investigate whether antidepressants could accelerate the spread of antibiotic resistance.”
Author, Scientists from the University of Queensland (Australia)checked Using different antidepressants with laboratory strains and at therapeutic or environmental concentrations“That antidepressant drugs may significantly promote horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes”.
microbiologist José Manuel Rodríguez Martínez, professor at the University of Seville, cautioned that they are laboratory results and believes that “they must be valued in their proper measure and deThey should be supported by additional tests to understand the results obtained in real life”, That’s what he assures in statements to SMC Spain, but he also stresses the impact of the study.
Implications in the treatment of infection
this studio It deals with a very topical topic at the moment, From OneHealth’s point of view, it is important to recognize that the development of resistance to non-antimicrobial molecules can occur through mutation and through horizontal gene transfer, such as bacterial conjugation events. These results may have implications for the selection of resistance during treatment of infection, as well as at the environmental level.”SMC Spain’s scientist has warned.
Rodríguez recalls that, “In recent years, various evidences of how non-antimicrobial drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, mucolytics such as N-acetylcysteine or even artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, can alter bacterial mutagenesis” and believes that “this work provides new data in this regard.”
horizontal gene transfer
The study examines “whether antidepressants could accelerate the spread of antibiotic resistance” through a specific pathway: Enhancing the “rate of horizontal transfer of antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs)”. Horizontal gene transfer is the movement of genetic material between unicellular and/or multicellular organisms.
how do you explain Spanish Society of Biochemistry and Molecular BiologyThe horizontal gene transfer (HGT)” is particularly relevant in bacteria, where it played (and still plays) a fundamental role as an evolutionary engine. In fact, it has been estimated that up to 80% of the genes in a standard bacterial genome have been gained by HGT at some point in its history.” and cautioned “Being an important factor in the spread of antibiotic resistance genes, HGT has profound consequences for human health… /… Thanks to HGT, bacteria can acquire resistance to multiple antibiotics in a single event, Which greatly complicates our ability to fight infectious diseases.”
need more study
The authors of the study recall that “it is well known that exposure to non-lethal concentrations of antibiotics accelerates the development and process of HGT resistance to antibiotics.” and what else Commonly used drugs, “such as antidepressants, are also consumed globally in large quantities, and their prescription is increasing.” With the covid pandemic. Two phenomena that cannot be studied separately.
Researchers show in the study that “The half-life of antidepressants in the human body can range from 1 to 2 hours for agomelatine and up to 144 hours for fluoxetine before excretion. Antidepressants are not completely metabolized in the human body and up to 50% are eliminated through urine or faecal excretion. Therefore, for patients receiving short-term antidepressant treatment, your gut or urinary microbiome will be constantly exposed to antidepressants of different concentrations,
What effect can this have from the use of antibiotics? Researchers specifically studied six antidepressants commonly used in the population (duloxetine, sertraline, escitalopram, fluoxetine, bupropion, and agomelatine), to determine their ability to stimulate ARG acquisition. And in four of them (duloxetine, sertraline, fluoxetine and bupropion) they confirmed it.
“Our findings provide molecular insight into the antibiotic-like properties of antidepressants, and recommend Assess the risk of dissemination of antibiotic resistance associated with further antidepressant therapy and environmental release”cautioned in the conclusion of the study.
microbiologist Rodriguez Martinez In SMC Spain it is also emphasized that “It will be necessary to validate whether this behavior is observed in clinical isolates of pathogenic species at a similar level to those commonly seen in clinical, and on the other hand, if these phenomena also affect antimicrobials of more clinical use such as cephalosporins or carbapenems (and resistance mechanisms that affect the activity of these other antimicrobials.” They also believe that “Clinical validation of these findings will require designing trials in patients.”