Effects of a short-course of amoxicillin/clavulanic acid on systemic and mucosal immunity in healthy adult humans

Int Immunopharmacol. 2005 May;5(5):917-28. doi: 10.1016/j.intimp.2005.01.007.


Although amoxicillin/clavulanic acid (AMC) is the most frequently administered antibiotic in France, its in vivo effects on immunity in healthy adults have never, to our knowledge, been described. Eighteen healthy adult male volunteers, 25+/-6 years old, were treated for 5 days with oral amoxicillin (1 g) /clavulanate potassium (125 mg), two times daily. Systemic and local intestinal immunity parameters were sequentially explored before, during and after the antibiotic treatment. No significant differences were obtained for transudation markers (albumin and alpha1-antitrypsin) in sera, feces and saliva, showing that AMC did not induce inflammatory reaction. Phagocytosis, peripheral blood cell subsets, intracellular interferon (IFN)-gamma and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha production by natural killer (NK) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes, intracellular TNF-alpha production by monocytes showed no significant differences throughout the trial. In fecal outputs, no significant differences were found in secretory immunoglobulin A (S-IgA), lactoferrin (Lf), lysozyme (Lz) and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta1. In sera, concentrations of total IgA (T-IgA), S-IgA, IgM, Lf and Lz did not show any significant variations throughout the study, whereas concentrations of IgG were slightly but significantly reduced 15 days after AMC treatment. In saliva, concentrations of T-IgA were slightly but significantly higher, whereas S-IgA concentrations were unchanged. Our results showed that oral AMC intake did not induce any significant adverse effects on immunity in adult humans.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / administration & dosage
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination / pharmacology*
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunity / drug effects*
  • Immunity, Cellular / drug effects
  • Immunity, Innate / drug effects
  • Immunity, Mucosal / drug effects*
  • Immunoglobulins / blood
  • Male
  • Phagocytosis / drug effects


  • Cytokines
  • Immunoglobulins
  • Amoxicillin-Potassium Clavulanate Combination