Stories about: hygiene hypothesis

Harnessing the hygiene hypothesis to prevent asthma

How do dirty environments protect against asthma?   (bigcityal/Flickr)

Certain infections in young children might shape their immune systems in a way that protects them from developing allergic asthma, says a new study in mice. The study shows how that may happen, and showed that the same effect can be achieved using a compound that can be made synthetically.

“Some infections appear to result in important protective effects against asthma,” says Dale Umetsu, of Children’s Hospital Boston’s Division of Immunology, a senior author of the paper. “But we certainly don’t want to give people dangerous infections to prevent asthma. So if we can understand how infections prevent asthma,

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