Social distancing may influence the microbiome is by limiting the transmission of antibiotic resistant microbes between people and the exchange of resistance genes between microbes.
Taking antibiotics leads to an increase in antibiotic resistance genes among a person’s microbiota.
Recent studies show that the diversity of these genes increases in time by spreading from person to person.
Social distancing limits personal contact, which means it likely limits the transmission of antibacterial resistance as well.
“In situations where people avoid one another, we would expect to break this transmission,” Nogueira — microbiologist at the National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinary Research and Centre for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Changes at the University of Lisbon — said.
“In these populations, the resistant bacteria tend to disappear over time.”
However, she said that studies haven’t rigorously demonstrated that social distancing will reduce antibiotic resistance.
Source: The American Society for Microbiology, USA.