Markers of microbial exposure lower the incidence of atopic dermatitis
Researchers conducted a matched case-control study on incident atopic dermatitis (AD). Cases involved 426 outpatient children with a first diagnosed incident of atopic dermatitis. Controls were 426 children attending a pediatric/dermatological visit for non-atopic disorders.
The odds radio of first occurrence of atopic dermatiis was 0.35 for children who had experienced more than four infections compared with those with no infections.
A decreasing trend in risk was observed with increasing number of siblings, the protective effect reaching about 40% for children with 2 or more siblings.
Pet keeping, in particular daily contact with dogs, was inversely associated with atopic dermatitis risk.
These results suggest that early-life environmental exposures, including pathogens and commensals, act as "microbes contact carriers" influencing immune system balance early in life.
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