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Dirt prevents allergy
Date:11/2/2011

be influenced by bacteria is brief, and closes a few months after birth.

"Our new findings match the large number of discoveries we have also made in the fields of asthma and hay fever," Professor Bisgaard explains. Like allergies, they are triggered by various factors early in life.

The researchers gathered their data from a unique material consisting of 411 children whose mothers have asthma. This cohort was monitored, interviewed and tested continually from when the children were born 12 years ago, and the COPSAC group has published articles at regular intervals with new knowledge about allergy and asthma ever since.

Professor Bisgaard acknowledges the irony of something that used to be perceived as a threat to public health, namely bacteria, now turning out to be a fundamental part of a healthy life. He also points out that there may be other couplings, such as between intestinal flora and diabetes or obesity and other lifestyle diseases affecting modern man in the West.

"I think that a mechanism that affects the immune system will affect more than just allergies, he concludes. It would surprise me if diseases such as obesity and diabetes are not also laid down very early in life and depend on how our immune defences are primed by encountering the bacterial cultures surrounding us."


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Contact: Hans Bisgaard
bisgaard@copsac.dk
01-145-397-77363
University of Copenhagen
Source:Eurekalert

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