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Gut Microbes. 2014 Mar-Apr;5(2):239-44. doi: 10.4161/gmic.27905. Epub 2014 Jan 23.

New insights into the hygiene hypothesis in allergic diseases: mediation of sibling and birth mode effects by the gut microbiota.

Author information

1
Department of Medical Microbiology; School for Nutrition, Toxicology, and Metabolism; Maastricht University Medical Centre; Maastricht, the Netherlands; Department of Epidemiology; School for Public Health and Primary Care; Maastricht University; Maastricht, the Netherlands.
2
Department of Pediatric Pneumology and Immunology; Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin; Berlin, Germany.
3
Department of Epidemiology; School for Public Health and Primary Care; Maastricht University; Maastricht, the Netherlands.
4
SymbioPharm; Herborn, Germany.
5
University Children's Hospital St Josef; Ruhr-Universität Bochum; Bochum, Germany.

Abstract

There is convincing evidence from both human and animal studies suggesting that the infant intestinal microbiota plays an important role in regulating immune responses associated with the development of allergic diseases. To date there are, however, still no definite bacterial taxa or particular subsets of the microbiota that have been consistently associated with allergic diseases, which is mainly attributable to the methodological dissimilarities between studies. As such there is a need to apply different methodological concepts to enhance a deeper and more refined understanding of the relationship between the gut microbiota and allergies. Within our recent studies we reported that colonization by clostridia in early infancy increased the risk of atopic dermatitis. Using subsequent mediation analysis, we demonstrated that birth mode and having older siblings strongly impacted the infant microbiota which in turn affected the risk of atopic dermatitis. The results of these mediation analyses contributed stronger evidence for a causal link of birth mode and birth order on allergy risk through modulation of the microbiota composition.

KEYWORDS:

allergy; epidemiology; hygiene hypothesis; infant; microbiota

PMID:
24637604
PMCID:
PMC4063851
DOI:
10.4161/gmic.27905
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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