Research ArticleAsthma

Early infancy microbial and metabolic alterations affect risk of childhood asthma

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Science Translational Medicine  30 Sep 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 307, pp. 307ra152
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aab2271

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  • RE:

    I read with interest an important paper by Arrieta and colleagues on the early infancy microbial and metabolic alternations affecting the risk of childhood asthma (1).

    The authors assign parental history as major criteria. However there is no data on parental history including asthma, especially regarding those infants who wheeze.

    There is no information of animal contacts which may play a role in respiratory tract illnesses (2). In particular, there is no mention of household dogs. Dog exposure at birth is associated with a reduced risk of asthma, regardless of dog sensitization status during the first 6 years of life. (3)

    There is no data on atopic diseases other than asthma and possibly atopic dermatitis which is only mentioned in name with respect to positive allergy skin tests. One would question the significance of these skin test results without clinical collaboration.

    It is not known if any of the infants studied has immunodeficiency.

    Caution should be exercised in using probiotics with live bacteria in infants with immunodeficiency or born prematurely. (4)

    References:
    1. Arrieta MC, Stiemsma LT, Dimitriu PA, Thorson L, Russell S, Yurist-Doutsch S, Kuzeljevic B, Gold MJ, Britton HM, Lefebvre DL, Subbarao, Mandhane P, Becker A, McNagny KM, Sears MR, Kollmann T, the CHILD Study Investigators, Mohn WW, Turvey SE, Finlay BB. Early infancy microbial and metabolic alterations affect risk of childhood asthma. Scien...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.