Link (subscription required): Bacteria and Asthma: Untangling the Links by Jennifer Couzin-Frankel, Science
Scientists have been studying the difference in the incidence of asthma in babies born by cesarian and babies born through vaginal birth, where they are exposed to birth canal bacteria and fungi; or the incidence in children who receive lots of antibiotics or not. Children who are born by C-section or receive lots of antibiotics have a higher incidence of asthma.
Another study is comparing the bacterial flora of children from farms and from non-farm rural settings - farm kids seem to get less asthma.
So far, the link between bacterial diversity and asthma has been an association not proof that bacteria are causing or inhibiting the development of asthma. Yet, it does point to a future where we are less aseptic, less clean in the post-Pasteurian sort of way.
What do you think?
Image from net_efekt