It is known that once a child has developed asthma, exposure to certain allergens may worsen their symptoms. Exposure to pollen, pet dander, or dust mites should be avoided for children with the condition.
However, new research suggests that pet allergens, together with some pest ones, may have the opposite – and therefore a preventative – effect, as long as the children are exposed to the allergens before the age of 3.
The study was led by Dr. James E. Gern, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and it was conducted as part of the ongoing Urban Environment and Childhood Asthma (URECA) study.
Studying allergens and asthma
The URECA study started in 2005. Since then, researchers have examined asthma risk factors among 560 children born in Baltimore, MD, Boston, MA, New York City, NY, and St. Louis, MO.
These children were at high risk of developing the condition because at least one of their parents had asthma or other allergies.
As part of the URECA study, children born in 2005 were clinically followed until now, and the present study assessed these children until they reached the age of 7.
Of the 560 inner-city children, Dr. Gern and team had a sufficient amount of data on 442. Of these, 130 children (or 29 percent) developed asthma.
Allergens were sampled from the children’s homes at three different time points: when the children were 3 months old, 2 years old, and 3 years old.
The researchers used 16S ribosomal RNA sequencing to analyze the house dust microbiome. They identified 202 bacterial taxa that were more abundant in the homes of children with asthma, and 171 that were less abundant.
Source: Medical News Today
by Ana Sandoiu
Disclaimer: The information produced by Infurmation is provided for general and educational purposes only and does not constitute any legal, medical or other professional advice on any subject matter. These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease. Always seek the advice of your vet or other qualified health care provider prior to starting any new diet or treatment and with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you suspect that your pet has a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.