Scientists have discovered that the reason why Dogs seem to be protecting kids against asthma and allergies could be because of the bacterium that thrives in their gut. A new study revealed that sufficient exposure of household dust to mice where dogs are let out showed changes in the composition of the gut microbes in mice.
When the mice were exposed to further well known allergy triggers, they has reduced the responses to the allergies in a big way; this is when compared to the mice that had been given exposure to household dust without the presence of dogs or without any exposure to dust either.
Susan Lynch, senior author of this study and an associate professor, division of gastroenterology at University of California, San Francisco stated that in the presence of dogs within the house “might inoculate the GI tract” of infants which leads to matured response of immunization; this makes them less sensitive to various allergies. The study was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Dr Lynch further explained, “We develop this great diversity of organisms [in the gut] over the first couple of years of life.” The gastrointestinal micro biome is now a large body of research that shows bacteria playing key roles in immunity, metabolism, and a number of biological processes.
Though the study examined mice, Dr. Lynch stated that the discoveries are the same throughout including research that included human observation and that are most likely to apply to human beings as well.
This new study recognized one particular species of bacteria, Lactobacillus Johnsonian that has a strong link to protecting against allergic responses. When this bacterium was removed from one group of mice and injected into the guts of another group of mice, “those mice were protected.” said Dr Lynch. “The immune response was significantly reduced in those animals and they looked healthier.”
But they weren’t protected as well as the mice that have a more diverse micro biome which suggests that other similar organisms in the micro biome could possibly effect the immune responses.
Dr. Lynch and her colleagues who included researchers from the University of Michigan, the Georgia Regents University, Augusta and the Henry Ford Health System are gradually extending the research to human beings. Dr Lynch described the aim as developing “microbial based therapies” or probiotics that could be used to treat or prevent asthma all together apart from other allergies.
A part of the National Institutes of Health, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases funded the research and analysis.