Friday, October 09, 2015
In what could be called an inter-organ connection, gut bacteria may help prevent asthma, the lifelong lung connection. This Canadian study found that acquiring four types of bacteria nicknamed as FLVR (Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, Rothia) by 3 months of age can protect an infant from asthma development later in life.
For the study, the researchers analysed foecal samples from 319 children involved in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. Analysis revealed that infants with increased risk of asthma had lower levels of FLVR bacteria. The researchers reported the findings in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The researchers did not find much difference in the FLVR level in infants at 1 year of age. This indicates the importance of the 3 month window as a critical and impressionable time for an infant’s developing immune system. The researchers confirmed these findings in mice and also found that newborn mice inoculated with FLVR developed less severe asthma.
These findings supports the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ and underlines the importance of gut bacteria in modulating risk of asthma. Commenting on the findings, the researchers said, “This discovery gives us new potential ways to prevent this disease that is life-threatening for many children. It shows there's a short, maybe 100-day window for giving babies therapeutic interventions to protect against asthma.” In a parting note, the researchers call for large scale studies to exactly understand the mechanism.
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