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    Antibiotics are commonly used in human neonates, but their impact on neonatal T cell immunity remains poorly understood. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of the antibiotic piperacillin with the beta-lactamase inhibitor tazobactam on neonatal CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Splenic and lung cells were isolated from the neonatal mice receiving piperacillin and tazobactam or saline (sham) and cultured with S. pneumoniae to analyze T cell cytokine production by ELISA and flow cytometry. Antibiotic exposure to neonatal mice resulted in reduced numbers of CD4+/CD8+ T cells in the spleen and lungs compared to control mice. Upon in vitro stimulation with S. pneumoniae, splenocytes and lung cells from antibiotic-exposed mice produced lower levels of IFN-γ (Th1)/IL-17A (Th17) and IL-17A cytokines, respectively. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that S. pneumoniae-stimulated splenic CD4+ T cells from antibiotic-exposed mice expressed decreased levels of IFN-γ and IL-17A compared to control mice, whereas lung CD4+ T cells produced lower levels of IL-17A. However, no significant difference was observed for IL-4 (Th2) production. Neonatal mice exposure to piperacillin and tazobactam reduces the number of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and suppresses Th1 and Th17, but not Th2, responses to S. pneumoniae. Exposure of neonatal mice with a combination of piperacillin and tazobactam reduces CD4+/CD8+ T cells in the spleen and lungs. Antibiotic exposure suppresses neonatal Th1 and Th17, but not Th2, responses to Streptococcus pneumoniae. Our findings may have important implications for developing better therapeutic strategies in the neonatal intensive care unit. © 2022. The Author(s), under exclusive licence to the International Pediatric Research Foundation, Inc.


    Sudhanshu Shekhar, Navdeep K Brar, Fernanda C Petersen. Suppressive effect of therapeutic antibiotic regimen on antipneumococcal Th1/Th17 responses in neonatal mice. Pediatric research. 2023 Mar;93(4):818-826

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    PMID: 35778498

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