Cincinnati researchers, led by David Bernstein, MD, have found that infants living in homes with high levels of endotoxins (bacterial contaminants) and multiple dogs were more than two times less likely to wheeze than other infants.
They found that wheezing was not associated independently with either dog or cat ownership or high levels of indoor endotoxins; however, high endotoxin exposures in homes that also had multiple dogs resulted in less wheezing.
“Our research presents evidence that pet ownership offers a protective effect against development of lower respiratory symptoms in young children,” adds Bernstein.
The UC-led team’s findings conflict with earlier studies suggesting exposure to high endotoxin levels or pet ownership can protect against an increased risk for future allergic diseases, the UC team reports in the December edition of theJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
“Exposure to high endotoxin levels in the home may not be an important determinant of aeroallergen sensitization during infancy,” explains Bernstein, professor of immunology and senior author for the study. “We do not yet understand how and why exposure to high levels of bacterial endotoxin and multiple dogs in the home exert a protective effect in these high-risk infants from wheezing early in life.”
Endotoxins are natural compounds secreted from pathogens (disease-causing agents) like bacteria that are commonly found in the intestines and feces. Scientists believe that endotoxins can stimulate our immune systems in many different ways.
“Our bodies are programmed to produce allergic responses early in life,” Bernstein explains, “but there are environmental factors like bacterial endotoxins that may modify the immune system and block development of allergies early in life.”
The UC-led team analyzed the effects of pet ownership (cats and dogs) and endotoxin exposure in 520 infants enrolled in the Cincinnati Childhood Allergy and Air Pollution Study (CCAAPS) who were identified as being at greater risk for developing allergies because at least one parent had known allergies.
The CCAAPS, funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, is a five-year study examining the effects of environmental particulates on childhood respiratory health and allergy development.
Researchers collected dust samples from the infants’ homes to measure endotoxin levels. They also determined the number of siblings and gathered information about the home, including the presence of mold and second-hand smoke. Environmental and food allergy development was monitored through annual skin prick tests.
Previous studies have addressed the role of pet ownership in childhood allergy development; however, findings have been inconsistent, according to Bernstein. Until now, it was unclear whether animal ownership, endotoxin exposure or a combination of the two resulted in wheezing. Bernstein says further research is needed to determine if these early protective effects have long-term benefits.
Collaborators in this study include Manuel Villareal, MD, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and UC colleagues Paloma Campo, MD, Hapinder Kalra, MD, Linda Levin, PhD, Tiina Reponen, PhD, Rolanda Olds, Zana Lummus, PhD, Seung-Hyun Cho, PhD, Gurjit Hershey, MD, PhD, James Lockey, MD, Sherry Stanforth and Grace LeMasters, PhD, principal investigator of the CCAAPS.
Amanda Harper | EurekAlert!
Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia
21.10.2016 | Universitätsklinikum Magdeburg
New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington
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...
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...
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...
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...
'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...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences