University of California at San Francisco researchers have presented a study at the American Society for Microbiology 2012 General Meeting that indicates that children who live with dogs may be less at risk for developing asthma.
In the study, which focused on mice with three variables, dust from homes with dogs was found to protect children against RSV, or respiratory syncytial virus, a common childhood respiratory issue.
One set of mice were fed dust from homes with dogs before being infected with RSV. Another set of mice were infected with RSV without being exposed to dust. The third set of mice were not infected with RSV and were used as the control group.
RSV symptoms include mucus and inflammation. The mice who were fed the dust did not exhibit any of these symptoms and their gastrointestinal bacteria was similar to those mice who were not fed the dust. The investigators speculate that the dust helps to protect the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system. Further research can focus on identifying the microbial species which offer this protection. For more information about the study please visit http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246856.php.