Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet

Forside

A reformulation of the hygiene hypothesis: maternal infectious diseases confer protection against asthma in the infant

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

  • Lars-Georg Hersoug
Epidemiological studies have shown an inverse relationship between allergic respiratory diseases and the number of siblings. It was hypothesized that the lower prevalence of allergic respiratory diseases in large sibships was due to cross-infections between siblings. According to this hygiene hypothesis the increase in the prevalence of atopic diseases is caused by a decrease in the exposure to infections. It was believed that early infections were beneficial for health because of their contribution to the maturation of the immune system. However, in this interpretation a possible protective influence of the mother was overlooked. A new hypothesis is therefore proposed. Maternal exposure to infections induces immunological memory, which protects her children against allergic respiratory diseases.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftMedical Hypotheses
Vol/bind67
Udgave nummer4
Sider (fra-til)717-20
Antal sider4
ISSN0306-9877
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 2006

ID: 45422536