|The author's dog|
You may have heard that children who grow up in households with animals are less likely to suffer from allergies. But why is this the case? Kei Fujimura from the University of California, San Francisco and his colleagues may have the answer. It’s all about the microbes. Oh and dust. Dust is important too.
Those helpful microbes could have been ingested with the dust, or something else in the dog dust could have favored the proliferation of resident L. johnsonii. Either way, it seems clear that it was the change in the gut microbes that was protecting the mice from allergies.
Fujimura KE, Demoor T, Rauch M, Faruqi AA, Jang S, C Johnson C, Boushey HA, Zoratti E, Ownby D, Lukacs NW, & Lynch SV (2013). House dust exposure mediates gut microbiome Lactobacillus enrichment and airway immune defense against allergens and virus infection. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America PMID: 24344318.