Exposure to the natural environment
Reduced exposure to important microbial species has also occurred because of reduced contact with our outdoor environment and the huge diversity of microbial and helminth (worms) species which it contains. Urbanisation has accelerated loss of exposure to the natural environment.
We now spend up to
of our time indoors.
Could antibiotics be involved?
Antibiotic usage shows a good temporal fit.
Epidemiological studies show antibiotics may be a risk factor for allergies, particularly excessive use by pregnant mothers or young babies.
Antibiotics may alter our interaction with microbes leading to reduced diversity of human gut microbiota.