Dogs in house protect against asthma, infection
Dogs may help build children’s immunity against certain allergies and asthma, according to a new study.
Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and the University of Michigan exposed two groups of mice to allergens associated with asthma. The researchers then exposed one group of mice to dust from houses in which dogs lived and compared their immune systems’ responses to those of mice who were exposed to dust from homes without dogs.
The findings of the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, showed that the mice that were exposed to dust from homes with dogs experienced less inflammation in their lungs than did the control group.
Researchers said their findings do not provide evidence showing why humans raised with dogs have a reduced risk for infections, but that they could lead to new strategies for protection against infections and allergies spread through the airways.