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Hygiene Hypothesis: Early Germ Influence Prevents Asthma?



Does the germ burden of germs in asthma help?

Answer James TC Li, Ph.

Children who grow up in rural areas, around animals and in larger families, appear to develop asthma less frequently than other children. According to the hygiene hypothesis, this is due to increased exposure to certain viruses, bacteria or parasites.

The hygiene hypothesis suggests that germ exposure and certain childhood infections support the development of the immune system. This teaches the body to distinguish harmless substances from the harmful substances that cause asthma. Theoretically, the action of certain germs teaches that the immune system does not overreact.

However, preventing asthma is not as easy as avoiding antibacterial soap, a large family, or farm time. First, a number of microbes, such as Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV), can cause asthma rather than prevent it. In addition, infections that can prevent asthma can cause a number of other health problems. Also the Keymart does not play the only role. The severity of an infection and the time the infection occurs in childhood also seem to be important.

In order to understand how childhood germs can prevent asthma, further research is needed. What we do know is that in children with asthma, exposure to germs is likely to do more harm than good.

Updated: 2017-06-02

Release Date: 2017-06-02


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