A new research has revealed that bacterial populations found in household dust determine whether or not a child living in that home develops asthma.
Recent studies have shown household dust to be a source of highly diverse and abundant bacteria, yet it remains largely unexplored.
In the new study, testing on samples of collected house dust demonstrated that bacterial populations are greatly impacted by the presence of dogs and cats and whether or not children attend day care.
Additionally, dust samples collected from homes of infants, with or without pets and varying day care attendance, showed differences in dust bacteria were linked with asthma development in children.
"These results provide the first evidence that the dominant bacterial populations in household dust are significantly influenced by environmental variables such as domestic animals and day care attendance," the researchers said.
"Further, the dominant bacterial populations are significantly correlated to asthma-related outcomes, supporting the hypothesis that the types of microorganisms present in homes in early life may play key roles in the development of childhood asthma," they added.
The research has been published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.