Posted On Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 09:00:23 AM
House dust from homes with dogs appears to protect against infection with a common respiratory virus that is associated with asthma in children. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, present their findings at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
“In this study we found that feeding mice house dust from homes that have dogs present protected them against a childhood airway infectious agent, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).
RSV infection is common in infants and can manifest as mild to severe respiratory symptoms. Severe infection in infancy is associated with a higher risk of developing asthma,” says Kei Fujimura, a researcher on the study.
In the study Fujimura and her colleagues compared three groups of animals: Mice fed house dust from homes with dogs before being infected with RSV, mice infected with RSV without exposure to dust and a control group of mice not infected with RSV.
“Mice fed dust did not exhibit symptoms associated with RSV-mediated airway
infection, such as inflammation and mucus production. They also possessed a
distinct gastrointestinal bacterial composition compared to animals not fed dust,” says Fujimura.