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Concept: Hygiene hypothesis


The prevalence of asthma and allergy has recently risen among children. This increase in prevalence might be related to various factors, particularly diet. The aim of this study is to assess the prevalence and association of asthma and allergic sensitization with dietary factors in the French Six Cities Study.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Eczema, Hygiene hypothesis


Measurement of eosinophilic airway inflammation can assist in the diagnosis of allergic asthma and in the management of exacerbations, however its clinical implementation remains difficult. Galectin-10 has been associated with eosinophilic inflammation and has the potential to be used as a surrogate biomarker. This study aimed to assess the relationship between galectin-10 in sputum with sputum eosinophil counts, the current gold standard of eosinophil inflammation in the lung. Thirty-eight sputum samples were processed for both eosinophil counts by cytospins and semi-quantitative measurements of galectin-10 by western blots. A strong association was observed between galectin-10 levels in sputum and sputum eosinophil measurements, and they accurately determined sputum eosinophilia. The results support the potential for galectin-10 to be used as a surrogate biomarker of eosinophilic airway inflammation.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Asthma, Pneumonia, Allergy, Mucus, Gold standard, Hygiene hypothesis


Although the available evidence is insufficient, acupuncture is used in patients suffering from chronic asthma. The aim of this pragmatic study was to investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture in addition to routine care in patients with allergic asthma compared to treatment with routine care alone.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Allergy, Chronic, Atopy, Eczema, Allergen immunotherapy, Hygiene hypothesis


Atopic dermatitis is associated with other allergic conditions, but variations in this “atopic march” are poorly understood.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Hypersensitivity, Allergy, Atopy, Eczema, Hygiene hypothesis


Allergic sensitization to fungi has been associated with asthma severity. As a result, it has been largely assumed that the contribution of fungi to allergic disease is mediated through their potent antigenicity.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Eczema, Allergen immunotherapy, Hygiene hypothesis


The early hygiene hypothesis explained the development of allergies by a lack of infections; nowadays, the aspect of excessive cleanliness in affluent populations seems to have replaced this concept. Yet, no investigation has shown that home or personal cleanliness relate to allergic diseases.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Eczema, Cleanliness, Hygiene hypothesis


There is evidence supporting a role for Nociceptin/OrphaninFQ (N/OFQ) receptor (NOP) and its endogenous ligand N/OFQ in the modulation of neurogenic inflammation, airway tone and calibre. We hypothesised that NOP activation has beneficial effects upon asthma immunopathology and airway hyper-responsiveness. Therefore, the expression and function of N/OFQ-NOP was examined in healthy and asthmatic human airway tissues. The concept was further addressed in an animal model of allergic asthma.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Obstructive lung disease, Allergen immunotherapy, Hygiene hypothesis


Understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of asthma and allergic diseases is expanding, due in part to sequencing advances that have led to the identification of new viral strains such as human rhinovirus strain C (HRV-C) and the human microbiome project.

Concepts: Immune system, Archaea, Bacteria, Asthma, Microbiology, Allergy, Influenza, Hygiene hypothesis


Deworming is rightly advocated to prevent helminth-induced morbidity. Nevertheless, in affluent countries, the deliberate infection of patients with worms is being explored as a possible treatment for inflammatory diseases. Several clinical trials are currently registered, for example, to assess the safety or efficacy of Trichuris suis ova in allergies, inflammatory bowel diseases, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and autism, and the Necator americanus larvae for allergic rhinitis, asthma, coeliac disease, and multiple sclerosis. Studies in animals provide strong evidence that helminths can not only downregulate parasite-specific immune responses, but also modulate autoimmune and allergic inflammatory responses and improve metabolic homoeostasis. This finding suggests that deworming could lead to the emergence of inflammatory and metabolic conditions in countries that are not prepared for these new epidemics. Further studies in endemic countries are needed to assess this risk and to enhance understanding of how helminths modulate inflammatory and metabolic pathways. Studies are similarly needed in non-endemic countries to move helminth-related interventions that show promise in animals, and in phase 1 and 2 studies in human beings, into the therapeutic development pipeline.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, Epidemiology, Asthma, Immunology, Inflammatory bowel disease, Helminthic therapy, Hygiene hypothesis


Many studies report that damp housing conditions are associated with respiratory symptoms. Less is known about mechanisms and possible effect modifiers. Studies of dampness in relation to allergic sensitization and eczema are scarce.

Concepts: Immune system, Asthma, Allergy, Atopy, Mucus, Food allergy, Eczema, Hygiene hypothesis