International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information
International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene

Home Hygiene & Health

The Leading Source of Scientific, Professional & Consumer Information

The Hygiene Hypothesis: Do We Still Believe in It?

Although numerous epidemiological studies suggest that there is an inverse relationship between allergic diseases and infections in early childhood, there are also several well-conducted epidemiological studies that seemingly contradict this relationship. Bjorksten concludes that Epidemiological, clinical and animal studies taken together suggest that broad exposure to a wealth of commensal, non-pathogenic microorganisms early in life are associated with protection, not only against IgE-mediated allergies, but also conceivably against type-1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease. He says “This has little relationship with 'hygiene' in the usual meaning of the word. The term 'hygiene hypothesis' is unfortunate, as it is misleading. A better term would be 'microbial deprivation hypothesis'.” Nestle Nutr Workshop Ser Pediatr Program. 2009;64:11-8; discussion 18-22, 251-7. Epub 2009 Aug 19.