Thursday, March 26, 2015
Dog saliva might hold the key to relieving allergies
Scientists at the University of Arizona recently launched a new study to see if a bacteria found in dog saliva and on dogs can lessen sneezing, itching, and hives. The idea is based on studies showing that infants born in households with dogs have a significantly lower incidence of allergies and asthma than infants in households without pets.
When it comes to asthma, dogs protect children from an infection called RSV - respiratory syncytial virus - that is connected to asthma. While being in contact with a dog is beneficial at all ages, the protection increases the earlier the child meets a dog, and being born into a household with a dog is more likely to protect against RSV and asthma than getting a dog at a later stage in life.
Allergies and asthma have increased in the Western world, and this might be based on our immune systems having too little to react to, and a dog might work as a probiotic, enhancing the human immune response.
The current study will match persons between the ages of 50 and 60 with dogs and measure their immune responses over a period of 12 weeks. If successful, the next study will include children.
~ Maria Sadowski ~