On 6th June, the 6th Annual Europaediatrics Conference in Glasgow hosted a lunchtime symposium entitled “The hygiene hypothesis, old friends and their implications for child health and home hygiene”.
The session included a presentation from Professor Graham Rook, University College London entitled The Darwinian reformulation: the “Old Friends” mechanism which explained how the original Hygiene Hypothesis” concept has evolved in the light of the most recent data suggesting that the microbial exposures we need for regulation of the immune system are not infectious diseases, but the “old friends” from our Palaeolithic past.
The second presentation was by Professor Sally Bloomfield of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and was entitled The hygiene hypothesis – the implications for child health and home hygiene. This presentation looked at the possible causes of the loss of exposure to old friends. It also evaluated possible strategies to reverse the upward trends in allergies and other chronic inflammatory diseases, whilst sustaining protection against infectious disease through good hygiene. Both presentations are available for download at http://www.ifh-homehygiene.org/review/hygiene-hypothesis-old-friends-and-their-implications-child-health-and-home-hygiene-symposium