Study Investigates How Exposure to Microbes Affects the Risk of Developing Asthma

A study published in the March 2017 edition of Immunity details how “living in a microbe-rich environment reduces the risk of developing asthma.” Researchers examined how exposure to microbial compounds changed the immune environment of the lung in mice. The researchers found bacterial DNA was able to increase the number of interstitial macrophages, and “this expansion persisted for several months in the individual.” They also found “if these same macrophages were isolated from a mouse and re-injected into the lungs of a naive recipient mouse, such individual was not capable of developing asthma against house dust mite extracts.” When macrophages were transferred to asthmatic mice, “the asthmatic mouse was cured and no more symptoms of asthma were present.”

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