Just when you think the wacky world of immunology can’t get any crazier, new research turns another corner. Readers of this newsletter have previously been exposed to the hygiene hypothesis of allergy; that is, because we are “so clean,” our idle immune systems find a mischievous outlet in the form of allergic diseases.
Now researchers at the University of Texas have looked into the role exposure to cockroach dust might play in this regard. As it turns out, exposure to cockroach dust serves as a proxy to microbial exposure as a protective factor in reducing the risk of children developing allergy and asthma.
The benefit was quite dramatic as it led to about a 50-percent reduction in the development of allergy.