GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Common antibiotics do not increase the risk of Type 1 diabetes or celiac disease among children who have a genetic susceptibility for developing those diseases, multinational researchers, including those from the University of Florida, have found.
The TEDDY Study Group, which includes University of Florida researcher Eric Triplett, Ph.D., found that everyday antibiotics are not associated with a greater risk of autoimmunity for either disease. The group’s findings are published today in JAMA Pediatrics.
Triplett said it is important to learn how antibiotics might influence Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease because the medications have been suggested as a cause for the increasing incidence of autoimmune diseases in industrialized nations. Previous human studies have showed conflicting results for an association between antibiotic use and Type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune disease that results in destruction of cells in the pancreas that make insulin. In celiac disease, eating gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley) triggers an immune response that attacks the small intestine.
“I thought we should get to the heart of the matter because you want parents to know whether their children are going to be put at risk when a physician prescribes an antibiotic,” said Triplett, a professor and chair of the department of microbiology and cell science at the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and a member of the UF Diabetes Institute, part of UF Health.
The study analyzed 8,495 children in the United States, Finland, Sweden and Germany who were genetically at risk for Type 1 diabetes, as well as 6,558 children who had a genetic risk for celiac disease. Parents reported when their children took the most common antibiotics — including penicillin, amoxicillin and cephalosporin — between the ages of 3…