Make filthy boots, researchers say. A new study shows that bacteria from dirt protect the city children from asthma.
From so-called farm research, scientists know: Who plays as a child at a stable, is better protected from allergy and asthma than the city's population.
He now shows a study in the journal "Nature": The farm's performance can be applied to city houses. If many typical microorganisms occur there, children are less likely to develop asthma.
Bacteria protect against asthma
Researchers found this connection when they tested bacterial communities in 400 Finnish and 1000 German households.
Studies on the farm
Back in the 1980s, Swiss doctor Markus Gassner discovered that it is less likely that the children of the farmers would suffer from allergies to the city children.
Since then, scientists are intensively investigating this phenomenon. They have already found in previous research: Air in the stall and raw milk, farmers often drink, preventing allergies.
In addition, scientists know that children who have always been in the stable as very small babies are best protected from fever and asthma.
Now scientists from Switzerland, together with their international counterparts, have been able to prove for the first time that bacteria found in the barn also protect children in the city from asthma.
It has been shown that the more typical microorganisms from the farm are present in the living room or the bedroom, the children who live there develop less asthma.
"This has made the farm's positive impact more tangible. Now we know that bacterial cocktail as in a stall protects against asthma," says Roger Lauener, pediatrician and allergist at the St. Gallen Eastern Hospital in St. Gallen and co-author of the study.
Dirty street shoes as a shield
So far, researchers do not know why some cow microbes inhabit some of the houses and apartments in the city.
"But we have seen these bacteria appear especially where more soil is introduced into the apartment, for example, when people are walking on street shoes at home," says Pirkka Kirjavainen, co-author of the National Institute of Health and Social Care in Finland.
Great brothers and sisters help
Even children with older brothers and sisters were better protected from asthma during the examination. This may be because they often come into contact with dirty rubber boots or other dirt that brings brothers and sisters to the apartment.
In the garden, for example, live harmless microbes, which have their own immune system in the early stage. For example, when children take the ground in their mouths.
Thus, the defense system does not develop allergies to harmless bacteria living in domestic dust, for example.
Woodland and bacterial spray for city children?
In order to make the farm's impact beneficial to urban residents, researchers in Finland are now trying to put the land from the forest into the entrance area of town houses or houses. About clothes and shoes, bacteria from this country that will be distributed in the rooms.
Do microbes on farms can be brought to town houses in this way, but need to be shown, says Pirkka Kirjavainen: "The study is still ongoing, and there is an idea to develop nose spray with components of typical pharmacological bacteria."
However, while such sprays are unavailable, parents can do a lot to protect their children from asthma and allergies, says Swiss Pediatrician Roger Lauener. "Let the children grow up in normal contact with the environment. Playing in the sand is already good for the defense system. "