The intestinal microflora in allergic Estonian and Swedish 2‐year‐old children

The intestinal microflora in allergic Estonian and Swedish 2‐year‐old children Background The prevalence of allergic diseases seems to have increased particularly over the past 35–40 years. Furthermore, allergic disease is less common among children in the formerly socialist countries of central and Eastern Europe as compared with Western Europe. It has been suggested that a reduced microbial stimulation during infancy and early childhood would result in a slower postnatal maturation of the immune system and development of an optimal balance between TH1‐ and TH2‐like immunity. Aims To test the hypothesis that allergic disease among children may be associated with differences in their intestinal microflora in two countries with a low (Estonia) and a high (Sweden) prevalence of allergy. Methods From a prospective study of the development of allergy in relation to environmental factors, 29 Estonian and 33 Swedish 2‐year‐old children were selected. They were either nonallergic (n = 36) or had a confirmed diagnosis of allergy (n = 27) as verified by typical history and at least one positive skin prick test to egg or cow's milk. Weighed samples of faeces were serially diluted (10−2–10−9) and grown under anaerobic conditions. The counts of the various genera and species were calculated for each child. In addition, the relative amounts of the particular microbes were expressed as a proportion of the total count. Results The allergic children in Estonia and Sweden were less often colonized with lactobacilli (P < 0.01), as compared with the nonallergic children in the two countries. In contrast, the allergic children harboured higher counts of aerobic micro‐organisms (P < 0.05), particularly coliforms (P < 0.01) and Staphylococcus aureus (P < 0.05). The proportions of aerobic bacteria of the intestinal flora were also higher in the allergic children (P < 0.05), while the opposite was true for anaerobes (P < 0.05). Similarly, in the allergic children the proportions of coliforms were higher (P < 0.05) and bacteroides lower (P < 0.05) than in the nonallergic children. Conclusions Differences in the indigenous intestinal flora might affect the development and priming of the immune system in early childhood, similar to what has been shown in rodents. The role of intestinal microflora in relation to the development of infant immunity and the possible consequences for allergic diseases later in life requires further study, particularly as it would be readily available for intervention as a means for primary prevention of allergy by the administration of probiotic bacteria. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Clinical & Experimental Allergy Wiley

The intestinal microflora in allergic Estonian and Swedish 2‐year‐old children

Loading next page...
 
/lp/wiley/the-intestinal-microflora-in-allergic-estonian-and-swedish-2-year-old-Ac0KnCYl9v
Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0954-7894
eISSN
1365-2222
DOI
10.1046/j.1365-2222.1999.00560.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Background The prevalence of allergic diseases seems to have increased particularly over the past 35–40 years. Furthermore, allergic disease is less common among children in the formerly socialist countries of central and Eastern Europe as compared with Western Europe. It has been suggested that a reduced microbial stimulation during infancy and early childhood would result in a slower postnatal maturation of the immune system and development of an optimal balance between TH1‐ and TH2‐like immunity. Aims To test the hypothesis that allergic disease among children may be associated with differences in their intestinal microflora in two countries with a low (Estonia) and a high (Sweden) prevalence of allergy. Methods From a prospective study of the development of allergy in relation to environmental factors, 29 Estonian and 33 Swedish 2‐year‐old children were selected. They were either nonallergic (n = 36) or had a confirmed diagnosis of allergy (n = 27) as verified by typical history and at least one positive skin prick test to egg or cow's milk. Weighed samples of faeces were serially diluted (10−2–10−9) and grown under anaerobic conditions. The counts of the various genera and species were calculated for each child. In addition, the relative amounts of the particular microbes were expressed as a proportion of the total count. Results The allergic children in Estonia and Sweden were less often colonized with lactobacilli (P < 0.01), as compared with the nonallergic children in the two countries. In contrast, the allergic children harboured higher counts of aerobic micro‐organisms (P < 0.05), particularly coliforms (P < 0.01) and Staphylococcus aureus (P < 0.05). The proportions of aerobic bacteria of the intestinal flora were also higher in the allergic children (P < 0.05), while the opposite was true for anaerobes (P < 0.05). Similarly, in the allergic children the proportions of coliforms were higher (P < 0.05) and bacteroides lower (P < 0.05) than in the nonallergic children. Conclusions Differences in the indigenous intestinal flora might affect the development and priming of the immune system in early childhood, similar to what has been shown in rodents. The role of intestinal microflora in relation to the development of infant immunity and the possible consequences for allergic diseases later in life requires further study, particularly as it would be readily available for intervention as a means for primary prevention of allergy by the administration of probiotic bacteria.

Journal

Clinical & Experimental AllergyWiley

Published: Mar 1, 1999

References

  • Epidemiology of asthma
    Burney., Burney.
  • Environmental factors and primary t‐cell sensitisation to inhalant allergens in infancy: reappraisal of the role of infections and air pollution
    Holt, Holt
  • Probiotics: a novel approach in the management of food allergy
    Majamaa, Majamaa; Isolauri, Isolauri

You’re reading a free preview. Subscribe to read the entire article.


DeepDyve is your
personal research library

It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.

Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.

All for just $49/month

Explore the DeepDyve Library

Search

Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly

Organize

Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.

Access

Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.

Your journals are on DeepDyve

Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.

All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.

See the journals in your area

DeepDyve

Freelancer

DeepDyve

Pro

Price

FREE

$49/month
$360/year

Save searches from
Google Scholar,
PubMed

Create folders to
organize your research

Export folders, citations

Read DeepDyve articles

Abstract access only

Unlimited access to over
18 million full-text articles

Print

20 pages / month

PDF Discount

20% off