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J Exp Med. 2009 Dec 21;206(13):2861-4. doi: 10.1084/jem.20092469. Epub 2009 Dec 7.

Soothing signals: transplacental transmission of resistance to asthma and allergy.

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  • 1Telethon Institute for Child Health Research, Centre for Child Health Research, University of Western Australia, Perth 6872, Australia. patrick@ichr.uwa.edu.au

Abstract

The progressive rise in the prevalence of allergic diseases since the 1970s is widely attributed to diminished exposure to microbial stimuli, resulting in dysregulated immune functions during early life. Most studies investigating the mechanism behind this phenomenon have focused on postnatal microbial exposure. But emerging evidence suggests that such programming may also occur in the developing fetus as a result of microbial stimulation of the pregnant mother.

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