Bacteria to Beat Asthma

Thursday, 23 November, 2000

Following the discovery of a particular molecule that will help to create suitable bacteria, an attempt to eliminate asthma by inoculating newly born babies with a simple tuberculosis-style injection is to be made in 2001.

Professor John Warner of the Department of Child Health at Southampton General Hospital, England, believes the absence of dirt in modern life is responsible for the dramatic rise in asthma cases.

Over the past 10 years, Professor Warner and his team have collected data about allergy sufferers from 700 families in the Southampton area. The proportion of 12-year-olds with asthma requiring treatment stands at 20 % compared with only 5% 20 years ago.

Professor Warner discovered that because of modern society's obsession with hygiene, Westerners routinely destroy bacteria that help to regulate the immune systems of new-born babies. The sterile lifestyle fails to expose them at the right time to bacteria that should flourish in the bowel and kick-start the immune system to fight allergens.

For further information please contact Professor Warner on ph: +44 23 8079 6941. or via fax: +44 23 8079 6378.

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