Eur Respir J. 2008 Feb 6 [Epub ahead of print]


Dog ownership and contact during childhood and later allergy development.


Chen CM, Verena M, Bischof W, Herbarth O, Borte M, Behrendt H, Krämer U, von Berg A, Bauer CP, Koletzko S, Wichmann HE, Heinrich J; the LISA Study Group and the GINI Study Group. Institute of Epidemiology, Neuherberg, Germany; and Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich, Institute of Medical Data Management, Biometrics and Epidemiology, Munich, Germany.



The effect of dog ownership during childhood on the development of allergy has been investigated in few studies with conflicting results. We investigated the association between dog contact and indoor endotoxin exposure during infancy and the development of allergic sensitization and atopic disease up to age 6.Two ongoing birth cohorts GINI (n=1962) and LISA (n=1193) were analysed. In both studies, information on children's contact with dogs and their allergic symptoms and doctor diagnosed allergic disease were collected during follow-up using questionnaires. Specific IgE to common aeroallergens were measured at age 6. House dust samples were collected at age of 3 months and the amount of endotoxin in house dust was determined.Dog ownership in early childhood was associated with a significant lower rate of mixed pollen and inhalant sensitization but not with dog sensitization and allergic symptoms and diseases up to age 6. Regular contact with dog during childhood without ownership was not associated with the health outcomes. No associations were found between house dust endotoxin exposure during infancy and sensitization outcomes.In conclusion, dog ownership in early childhood protects against the development of inhalant sensitization and this effect cannot be attributed to the simultaneous exposure to endotoxin.


PMID: 18256062 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]



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