Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Parents who suck on their infants´ pacifiers may protect their children against developing allergy

Swedish researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, report that a simple habit may give significant protection against allergy development, namely, the parental sucking on the baby’s pacifier.
Allergies are very common in industrialized countries. It has been suggested that exposure to harmless bacteria during infancy may be protective against the development of allergy. However, it has been difficult to pinpoint which bacteria a baby should be exposed to, and at what time and by which route this exposure should ideally occur.

Swedish researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, now report that a simple habit may give significant protection against allergy development, namely, the parental sucking on the baby’s pacifier.

In a group of 184 children, who were followed from birth, the researchers registered how many infants used a pacifier in the first 6 months of life and how the parents cleaned the pacifier.
Most parents rinsed the pacifier in tap water before giving it to the baby, e.g., after it had fallen on the floor. However, some parents also boiled the pacifier to clean it. Yet other parents had the habit of putting the baby’s pacifier into their mouth and cleaning it by sucking, before returning it to the baby.

It was found that children whose parents habitually sucked the pacifier were three times less likely to suffer from eczema at 1.5 years of age, as compared with the children of parents who did not do this. When controlled for other factors that could affect the risk of developing allergy, such as allergy in the parents and delivery by Caesarean section, the beneficial effect of parental sucking on the pacifier remained.

Pacifier use per se had no effect on allergy development in the child. Boiling the pacifier also did not affect allergy development in a statistically proven fashion.

No more upper respiratory infections were seen in the children whose parents sucked on their dummies, as compared with the other children, as evidenced by diaries kept by the parents in which they noted significant events, such as infections.

Saliva is a very rich source of bacteria and viruses, and the researchers believe that oral commensal microbes are transferred from parent to infant when they suck on the same pacifier. When the composition of the bacterial flora in the mouth was compared between infants whose parents sucked on their pacifiers and those whose parent did not, it was found to differ, supporting this hypothesis.

According to “the hygiene hypothesis”, the development of allergy can be attributed in part to a paucity of microbial stimulation during early infancy.

"Early establishment of a complex oral microflora might promote healthy maturation of the immune system, thereby counteracting allergy development", says professor Agnes Wold who led the study.

The study, which is published in the scientific journal Pediatrics, was performed by a team that consisted of paediatricians specialized in allergic diseases, as well as microbiologists and immunologists. The research team has previously conducted large-scale studies on the gut microbiota in relation to allergy development and showed in 2009 that a complex gut microbiota very early in life reduces the risk of allergy development.

Contact information:

Bill Hesselmar, Senior Consultant and Associate Professor, The Queen Silvia Children’s Hospital, Gothenburg and Department of Pediatrics, the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Phone: +46-31-343 60 85
Cell phone: +46-733-22 00 47

Agnes Wold, Professor at the Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Biomedicine, the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden
Phone: +46-31-342 46 17
Cell phone: +46-734-02 87 50

Annika Koldenius | idw
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>