Antibiotics in inflammatory bowel diseases: do we know what we’re doing?
Despite the revolution in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) treatment over the past two decades with the advent of biological therapies, there remains a substantial proportion of patients with inadequate or unsustained response to existent therapies. The overwhelming focus of IBD therapeutics has been targeting mucosal immunity, however with the developing evidence base pointing to the role of gut microbes in the inflammatory process, renewed focus should be placed on the impact of manipulating the microbiome in IBD management. This review provides an overview of the evidence implicating bacteria in the pathogenesis of gut inflammation in IBD and provides an overview of the evidence of antibiotics in IBD treatment. We also suggest a potential role of antibiotics in clinical practice based on available evidence and clinical experience.