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Investigation of the hygiene hypothesis: current issues and future directions


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Ponsonby, AL and Kemp, A (2008) Investigation of the hygiene hypothesis: current issues and future directions. Allergy, 63 (5). pp. 506-508. ISSN 0105-4538

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The �hygiene hypothesis� was first proposed in 1989 by
Strachan et al. (1) who proposed that reduced opportunities
for cross-infection in families may have resulted in
the more widespread clinical expression of atopic disease.
It was based on the observation of a striking inverse
association between sibling number and hay fever in
adulthood among those in the 1960 UK birth cohort
study. It proposed that sibling number could be
protective for allergic disease because siblings are the
source of infection. The immunological mechanisms that
might mediate the consequences of increased sibling
exposure are unclear and the simplistic proposal that
early life microbial deflects the immune system from a
Th2 (allergic)- to a Th1(nonallergic)- response can be

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Allergy
Page Range: pp. 506-508
ISSN: 0105-4538
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01652.x
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The original publication is available at

Date Deposited: 16 Mar 2009 04:16
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 03:56
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