Essay On Hygiene Hypothesis

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In 1989, Dr David P Strachan from Department of Epidemiology and Population Sciences, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine proposed the “hygiene hypothesis”.1 The hypothesis was base on the result of his study that a widespread clinical expression of atopic disease especially hay fever was due to decreasing family size, enhancements in household amenities, and higher standards of personal cleanliness that reduced the opportunity for cross infection in young families.1 In short, it suggested that diminishing exposure to micro-organisms during infancy is accountable for the increasing prevalence of allergic disorder such as hay fever, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, atopic dermatitis and asthma.2 Since then, the hypothesis was further expanded and developed by its proponents but also draw critique from some quartes calling for its abandonment.3,4 A more recent study by Rook et. al (2004) advocated the “old friends” hypothesis to complement the “hygiene theory”.3 The study notes the co-evolution of microorganisms and macroorganisms since…show more content…
In light of these new evidence, the “extended hygiene hypothesis” was proposed, in which rather than waiting for exposure to bacteria to prime the immune system, the infant needs to amass a community of pre-existing microbes that come from the mother, as well as from the surrounding environment.5 Study done by Rutayisire, Huang, Liu, and Tao (2016) reveals that the diversity and colonization pattern of the gut microbiota were significantly related to the mode of delivery.6 Children born by Caesarean section (CS) attain their intestinal bacteria from skin interaction and environmental surfaces while vaginally born children attain their intestinal flora chiefly through the mother’s vaginal tract, which closely reflects the mother’s intestinal flora.7 Based on the “extended hygiene hypothesis”, numerous studies have been done to determine the association between CS and the risk of developing allergic disorders especially

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