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Dogs May Help Prevent Kids From Wheezing

Exposure to multiple dogs along with presence of a certain types of bacteria could help prevent kids from wheezing, says a new study//.

David Bernstein, professor of immunology at the University of Cincinnati and other researchers, found this after studying about 500 infants, reported online edition of health magazine WebMD.

Wheezing in infants is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies and asthma later in life.

The researchers found that infants who live in a home with two or more dogs and a high level of certain types of a bacterial substance were a third less likely to develop wheezing in the first year of life than those who didn't live with dogs, it said.

"Our bodies are programmed to produce allergic responses early in life," Bernstein said. "But there are environmental factors like bacterial endotoxins that may modify the immune system and block development of allergies early in life".

"We do not yet understand how and why exposure to high levels of bacterial endotoxins and multiple dogs in the home exert a protective effect in these high-risk infants from wheezing early in life," Bernstein said.

The results of the study were published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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