Antiseptic From Your Toothpaste Interferes With Antibiotics

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Antiseptic From Your Toothpaste Interferes With Antibiotics
Antiseptic From Your Toothpaste Interferes With Antibiotics

Video: Antiseptic From Your Toothpaste Interferes With Antibiotics

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Video: Common Over-The-Counter Antibacterial Ingredient Deactivates Antibiotics 2023, February
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Antiseptic from your toothpaste interferes with antibiotics

Exposure to triclosan can make bacteria capable of tolerating lethal concentrations of antibiotics, including those commonly used to treat urinary tract infections.

Antiseptic from your toothpaste interferes with antibiotics
Antiseptic from your toothpaste interferes with antibiotics

Photo: Growing Up Herbal /

An antiseptic, widely used in household chemicals, increases the resistance of bacteria to antibiotics, a study conducted by scientists from Washington University in St. Louis has shown. The substance that is supposed to kill bacteria actually makes them stronger. The results were published in the journal Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy.

Exposure to triclosan can make bacteria capable of tolerating lethal concentrations of antibiotics, including those commonly used to treat urinary tract infections.

Triclosan is an active "antibacterial" ingredient found in many consumer products. It is added to toothpaste, mouthwash, cosmetics, and even clothing, toys, and credit cards to reduce bacteria.

"To kill bacterial cells, triclosan is added to foods at high concentrations," said study author, Petra Levin. According to her, triclosan is very stable - it is retained for a long time in the body and in the environment.

A new study in mice shows how triclosan can affect bacteria's susceptibility to bactericidal antibiotics.

Some antibiotics kill bacterial cells, while others inhibit their growth. Levin and her colleagues were especially interested in bactericidal antibiotics, which can kill bacteria. They wanted to know if triclosan could make bacteria resistant to these antibiotics.

During the experiment, some bacteria were exposed to triclosan before the introduction of the bactericidal antibiotic, while others were not.

“Triclosan significantly increased the number of surviving bacterial cells. Typically, only one in a million cells survive antibiotic exposure, and a functioning immune system can control them. But after exposure to triclosan, one in ten bacteria survived. Thus, the immune system was overloaded,”says Dr. Levin.

At the same time, resistance remained under the influence of a number of antibiotics, even those that were previously considered the most effective, including with the effect of ciprofloxacin, which is usually used to treat urinary tract infections.

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