Pin It

Home » Lower Risk for Asthma in Children with Dogs

Lower Risk for Asthma in Children with Dogs

Children who live with a dog have a diminished risk for asthma secondary to an exposure to a particular combination of microbes identified within dog-related house dust, says new asthma research presented at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Investigators have distinguished for a long time that children who share living space with pets are inclined to have a lower asthma risk compared to other children living without a furry pet friend.

According to new research conducted by investigators at the University of California at San Francisco, household dust comprised of protective elements against a prevalent pulmonary virus affiliated with the advancement of childhood asthma, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), showed evidence to decrease the risk for asthma.

To prove a connection, if any, between having a dog in your home and a diminished risk for possible asthma, the investigators measured the household dust from the homes with a current dog to households with no pets by analyzing three lots of mice: 1. Mice given household dust to eat from households with dogs prior to being altered with respiratory syncytial virus, 2. mice altered with respiratory syncytial virus without exposure to dog-related household dust, and 3. mice from control group not altered with RSV.

All mice that were fed the dog-related household dust were safeguarded against severe RSV infections, which in turn diminished the risk for asthma.

Specifically, the exclusive microbial proportion of house dust in households with pet dogs shows evidence to offer protection against respiratory syncytial virus during infancy, hence decreasing the possibility for asthma later in the life.

As reported by the American Lung Association, asthma is a serious and chronic respiratory disease that affects roughly 17 million Americans. Approximately 1.81 million people with asthma require medical treatment in the emergency department for asthma signs and symptoms and generally 500,000 people require eventual hospitalizations for asthma-induced issues. This brings the estimated annual cost for treating the illness in the U.S. to about $19.6 billion per year. No cure yet exists for asthma.

The results of the present research are relevant for the future of asthma studies. The findings may support development in treatments for RSV, which may then lower the risk for possibility for asthma among children.