Caution needed when prescribing antibiotics to hypertension patients, study finds

August 23, 2018

Rockville, Md. (August 23, 2018)--Individual variations in genetic makeup and gut bacteria may explain the different effects of antibiotics on blood pressure, a new rat study suggests. The findings are published ahead of print in Physiological Genomics.

Gut microbiota--bacteria that populate the gastrointestinal tract--are a mixture of organisms that play a role both in health and in the development of illness or disease, including high blood pressure (hypertension). Just as individuals' genes vary, each person's gut microbiota is diverse. As antibiotics kill harmful bacteria to cure infections, they may also eliminate helpful bacteria that maintain good health. Because gut microbiota are linked to an individual's high blood pressure, University of Toledo College of Medicine and Life Sciences researchers explained, "individual hypertensive responses to antibiotics may vary depending on the host and its microbiota."

The research team studied two strains of rats that have different gut microbiota but both have a genetic tendency for hypertension. Dahl salt-sensitive rats ("Dahl rats") develop high blood pressure in response to a high-salt diet, while spontaneously hypertensive rats ("SHR rats") are seen as an animal model of high blood pressure unrelated to dietary salt. The researchers treated both strains with three common antibiotics: Antibiotic use caused different responses in the Dahl rats and SHR rats, including the way that each drug affected the rats' blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure--the force of blood pushing through the arteries while the heart beats--increased in Dahl rats when treated with minocycline and neomycin but not when given vancomycin. Minocycline also caused the diastolic blood pressure--the pressure in the arteries while the heart is at rest--to rise in the Dahl rats. SHR rats treated with any of the antibiotics experienced either a drop in systolic blood pressure, or no change, as with neomycin.

These findings suggest that "the host [genetic makeup] plays an important role in how blood pressure will be affected differentially by antibiotic treatment. This highlights the importance of further studies to determine the mechanism behind these different effects," the researchers wrote. "This raises the question of safety in the usage of antibiotics by patients with such modern ailments [as hypertension]."
-end-
Read the full article, "Disparate effects of antibiotics on hypertension," published ahead of print in Physiological Genomics.

NOTE TO JOURNALISTS: To schedule an interview with a member of the research team, please contact the communications@the-aps.org>APS Communications Office or 301-634-7209. Find more research highlights in the APS Press Room.

Physiology is the study of how molecules, cells, tissues and organs function in health and disease. Established in 1887, the American Physiological Society (APS) was the first U.S. society in the biomedical sciences field. The Society represents more than 10,000 members and publishes 15 peer-reviewed journals with a worldwide readership.

American Physiological Society

Related Bacteria Articles from Brightsurf:

Siblings can also differ from one another in bacteria
A research team from the University of Tübingen and the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF) is investigating how pathogens influence the immune response of their host with genetic variation.

How bacteria fertilize soya
Soya and clover have their very own fertiliser factories in their roots, where bacteria manufacture ammonium, which is crucial for plant growth.

Bacteria might help other bacteria to tolerate antibiotics better
A new paper by the Dynamical Systems Biology lab at UPF shows that the response by bacteria to antibiotics may depend on other species of bacteria they live with, in such a way that some bacteria may make others more tolerant to antibiotics.

Two-faced bacteria
The gut microbiome, which is a collection of numerous beneficial bacteria species, is key to our overall well-being and good health.

Microcensus in bacteria
Bacillus subtilis can determine proportions of different groups within a mixed population.

Right beneath the skin we all have the same bacteria
In the dermis skin layer, the same bacteria are found across age and gender.

Bacteria must be 'stressed out' to divide
Bacterial cell division is controlled by both enzymatic activity and mechanical forces, which work together to control its timing and location, a new study from EPFL finds.

How bees live with bacteria
More than 90 percent of all bee species are not organized in colonies, but fight their way through life alone.

The bacteria building your baby
Australian researchers have laid to rest a longstanding controversy: is the womb sterile?

Hopping bacteria
Scientists have long known that key models of bacterial movement in real-world conditions are flawed.

Read More: Bacteria News and Bacteria Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.