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Long Term Exposure to Lab Animals Increases Immunity against Asthma

by Medindia Content Team on July 4, 2006 at 4:50 PM
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Long Term Exposure to Lab Animals Increases Immunity against Asthma

According to a recent study conducted by the researchers at the Imperial College London it was found that lab workers suffer from fewer allergic responses than the others.

It was believed that early exposure to certain animals prevent asthma and allergies. It was found that lab workers who frequently handled research rodents had fewer allergic reactions to the animals. Early exposure to dogs appeared to be protective against eczema allergy. The study results are published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

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It supports the hygiene hypothesis of asthma and allergic diseases. This hypothesis says that naturally occurring infections and microbes might essentially develop immunity against the development of asthma and allergies. Dr Meinir Jones and her team after a study said that they found that laboratory workers developed a natural immunity via exposure to animals through their occupation.

She said that these workers get exposure not only through inhalation but also through the skin if they are bitten or scratched. They suffer from two-fold reduced risk of developing work-related chest symptoms than those who had only non-specific antibodies in their blood. Dr Karen Pacheco of the National Jewish Medical and Research Centre in Denver, the US, said that extreme exposures is important in the development of immune responses to laboratory animals than average exposures. However more research is still needed to completely understand about allergen exposure and how it results in asthma.

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