Exposure to dirt in childhood promotes immunity
Washington: The concept of exposing infants to germs in order to build up immunity is known as the hygiene hypothesis. Now, researchers of Brigham and Women`s Hospital (BWH) have come up with evidence supporting the hygiene hypothesis for the first time.
They studied the immune system of `germ-free mice` and compared them to mice living in a normal environment with microbes, the journal Science reported.
They found that `germ-free mice` had exaggerated inflammation of the lungs and colon resembling asthma and colitis, respectively, caused by the hyperactivity of a unique class of T cells (immune cells).
These immune cells had been previously linked to these disorders in both mice and humans, said a university statement.
Most importantly, researchers discovered that exposing the germ-free mice to microbes during their first weeks of life, but not when exposed later in adult life, led to a normalized immune system and prevention of diseases.
Moreover, the protection provided by early-life exposure to microbes was long-lasting, as predicted by the hygiene hypothesis.
"These studies show the critical importance of proper immune conditioning by microbes during the earliest periods of life," said Richard Blumberg, chief for the BWH Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endoscopy, and study co-author, working with Dennis Kasper, director of BWH`s Channing Lab.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Prashant Bhushan questions Arvind Kejriwal on Lokpal through press conference
- PM Modi addresses the nation during Maan Ki baat
- Delhi police arrests BSF personnel, ISI operative for espionage
- Exclusive: Prakash Javadekar's views on issue of climate change before UN summit
- Kerala's Sunni religious leader calls gender equality ‘un-Islamic’
- Women fit only to deliver children, gender equality un-islamic: Kerala Muslim leader
- Russia strikes down Goa, India from its safe travel destinations list
- Intolerance issue: Aamir Khan's remarks 'innocent', says Rajkumar Hirani
- Arvind Kejriwal backs Tarun Gogoi's claim over Guv favouring BJP, suspects 'coop federalism'
- PM Modi leaves for Paris to take part in Climate Conference