Updated 03:09 AM EDT, Thu, May 23, 2019

Child Asthma May Decrease with Help from 'Good' Stomach Bacteria, Scientists Find

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A Canadian research has found that there are four types of gut bacteria in infancy that could help reduce a child's risk for asthma.

In a report from CBS News, it is said that it is natural for infants to get these bacteria from the environment. However, some babies are given antibiotics that could kill said bacteria, while others are not exposed to them.

The report is published in full in the Science Translation Medicine, where the team analyzed 319 children. Results later showed that they were at a higher risk of asthma if the four types of bacteria --- Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella and Rothia (Flvr) --- were missing.

According to lead researcher Brett Finlay, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, "We now have particular markers that seem to predict asthma later in life."

"These findings indicate that bacteria that live in and on us may have a role in asthma," he said. These environmental bacteria are said to come into contact in different circumstances, like living on a farm or having pets, which both appear to decrease the risk for asthma.

Finlay said that asthma has increased dramatically since the 1950s and has affected children in Western countries. Ironically, however, he noted that asthma has not increased in developing countries, which led the team conclude that it is possible that people in less-developed countries are exposed to more helpful bacteria and microbes.

This is known as the "hygiene hypothesis" which theorizes that environments that are too clean can impede on the development of the immune system. BBC also noted that in a human body, cells are outnumbered by bacteria, fungi and viruses 10 to one, and the "microbiome" is said to have an impact on health.

The study found that children lacking the necessary types of bacteria at three months were more prone to developing asthma by the age of three, compared tot he children with the microbiome.

Dr Stuart Turvey, who is one of the researchers said, "Our longer-term vision would be that children in early life could be supplemented with Flvr to look to prevent the ultimate development of asthma. I want to emphasise that we are not ready for that yet, we know very little about these bacteria, [but] our ultimate vision of the future would be to prevent this disease."

"It's fine to get dirty. It's fine to play with the dog," Turvey also added.

CBC noted that researchers are now testing samples from 500 Canadian babies as well as Ecuadorian infants to further explain how asthma develops.

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