The Janus face of Antibiotics: Life Savers and Microbiota Disruptors


From 18 to 24 November, the WHO will be running World Antibiotic Awareness Week (WAAW). WAAW reminds us that although antibiotics were one of the major therapeutic advances of the 20th century, they can also have an adverse impact on the various microbiota and cause antibiotic resistance1.


From the antibiotic era to the microbiota era

As an expert on microbiota, the Biocodex Microbiota Institute will participate in this event by dedicating a special edition to the impact of antibiotics on the body’s microbiota:

- Gut microbiota: up to 35% of patients using antibiotics suffer from diarrhea2,3,4 ;

- Urogenital microbiota: 10% to 30% of women develop vulvovaginal candidiasis following treatment with antibiotics5 ;

- Skin microbiota: 60% of patients treated for acne show macrolide-resistant strains of Cutibacterium acnes  ;

- ENT microbiota: antibiotics administered to treat upper respiratory tract infections increase the incidence of acute otitis media by a factor 2.6 ;

- Lung microbiota: broad-spectrum antibiotics used to treat pulmonary infections play a central role in the emergence of antibiotic resistance.

Special thematic paper

This 12-page issue presents the key points based on scientific data, expert opinions, and clinical cases.

Download the file



2 McFarland LV, Ozen M, Dinleyici EC et al. Comparison of pediatric and adult antibiotic-associated diarrhea and Clostridium difficile infections. World J Gastroenterol. 2016;22(11):3078-3104.

3 Bartlett JG. Clinical practice. Antibiotic-associated diarrhea. N Engl J Med 2002;346:334-9.

4 Theriot CM, Young VB. Interactions Between the Gastrointestinal Microbiome and Clostridium difficile. Annu Rev Microbiol. 2015;69:445-461.

5 Shukla A, Sobel JD. Vulvovaginitis Caused by Candida Species Following Antibiotic Exposure. Curr Infect Dis Rep. 2019 Nov 9;21(11):44.