Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How 'Dirt' Could Educate The Immune System And Help Treat Asthma

Date:
September 6, 2005
Source:
Imperial College London
Summary:
Scientists believe that knowing exactly which type of dirt provides the best 'education' for the immune system, could be key to providing new treatments for diseases such as asthma.

Scientists believe that knowing exactly which type of dirt provides thebest 'education' for the immune system, could be key to providing newtreatments for diseases such as asthma.

Related Articles


Speaking at the launch of the BA Festival of Science today,Professor Peter Openshaw, explains that a lack of exposure to dirt andcommon viral infections among children could be behind the rise in thelevels of asthma.

Professor Openshaw, from Imperial College London, and based atSt Mary's Hospital, says: "Although we have seen a dramatic decline inmany previously common childhood infections over the past 100 years, wehave also seen a considerable rise in the prevalence of diseases suchas asthma. The increase in asthma cannot be blamed purely on changes ingenetic risk, so must be down to environmental factors."

Scientists have called this the 'hygiene' hypothesis, with alack of exposure to viruses and other environmental factors meaningchildren are not able to build up resistance, and can become moresusceptible to disease later in life. They also believe having manyolder siblings, attending day care at an early age, or growing up on afarm can help in promoting resistance to disease.

Studies have shown that most common colds can help protectagainst wheezing in later childhood, and other childhood infectionssuch as chickenpox also provide a level of protection.

Professor Openshaw adds: "The challenge now is to find ways ofreproducing the protective effects of early childhood infections, whilereducing the burden of actually getting these infectious diseases.Knowing exactly which 'dirt' provides the best education for the immunesystem, and how to mimic its affects in a cleaner environment, could bethe key to reducing the rise in the prevalence of asthma and relateddiseases."

Professor Openshaw is a respiratory medicine researcher,looking at immunological responses to diseases such as asthma, thecommon cold and other lung diseases.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Imperial College London. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Imperial College London. "How 'Dirt' Could Educate The Immune System And Help Treat Asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 6 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906073848.htm>.
Imperial College London. (2005, September 6). How 'Dirt' Could Educate The Immune System And Help Treat Asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906073848.htm
Imperial College London. "How 'Dirt' Could Educate The Immune System And Help Treat Asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050906073848.htm (accessed January 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, January 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

Ebola Mistakes Should Serve a Lesson Says WHO

AFP (Jan. 25, 2015) The World Health Organization&apos;s chief on Sunday admitted the UN agency had been caught napping on Ebola, saying it should serve a lesson to avoid similar mistakes in future. Duration: 00:55 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Disneyland Measles Outbreak Spreads To 5 States

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) Much of the Disneyland measles outbreak is being blamed on the anti-vaccination movement. The CDC encourages just about everyone get immunized. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

Growing Measles Outbreak Worries Calif. Parents

AP (Jan. 23, 2015) Public health officials are rushing to contain a measles outbreak that has sickened 70 people across 6 states and Mexico. The AP&apos;s Raquel Maria Dillon has more. (Jan. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Smart Wristband to Shock Away Bad Habits

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) A Boston start-up is developing a wristband they say will help users break bad habits by jolting them with an electric shock. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins