Scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, have found that microbes living in house dust in dog- flats can help protect children from a respiratory virus infection that can cause severe asthma.
Kei Fujimura, the author of the scientific work, said: “We found that adding dust from mouse-fed households to mice protects mice from airborne respiratory syncitial virus (RSV infection). This led us to suggest that microbes from “dog dust” they can colonize the gastrointestinal tract, creating an immune response and protecting their host against the asthogenic pathogen RSV. “
Respiratory syncytial virus is the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children. There is no vaccine for this virus . Treatment is limited to maintenance therapy; an oxygen mask may be used.
A report by Fujimura presented at the congress of the American Society of Microbiology emphasizes that this work is the first step towards identifying the identity of microbial species that provide protection against airborne infections.