Intestinal host-microbiota interactions during the first year of life are critical for infant development. Early-life antibiotic exposures disrupt stereotypical gut microbiota maturation and adversely affect childhood health. Furthermore, antibiotics increase the abundance of resistant bacteria and enrich the resistome—the compendium of antibiotic resistance genes—within the gut microbiota. Here, we discuss acute and persistent impacts of antibiotic exposure during infancy on pediatric health, the gut microbiome, and, particularly, the resistome. Reviewing our current understanding of antibiotic resistance acquisition and dissemination within and between microbiomes, we highlight open questions, which are imperative to resolve in the face of rising bacterial resistance.
- antibiotic resistance
- gut microbiome