Thus, the effect of prenatal to postnatal exposure in early life cannot be disentangled in the surveys of adult populations. With respect to asthma, the findings across studies among adult farmers have been less clear-cut. These inconsistencies may, in part, be attributable to the difficulties in the Opaganib diagnosis of asthma versus the ‘asthma-like syndrome’ in adults. Also, long-term exposure to endotoxin has been shown clearly to be a risk factor for non-atopic asthma in adults, as discussed below [42,44,47–51]. It seems likely that children
exposed to animal sheds encounter more allergens, bacteria, viruses and fungi than children without such exposures, but only few of these potential protective exposures PI3K inhibitor have been assessed in farming environments. Bacterial substances such as endotoxin from Gram-negative bacteria and muramic acid, a component of peptidoglycan from the cell wall of all types of bacteria, have been found to be more abundant in mattress dust from farm children compared to non-farm children . Similarly, a marker for fungal exposures, i.e. extracellular
polysaccharides from Penicillium and Aspergillus spp., is more prevalent in farming households than in non-farming households. Endotoxin levels in children’s mattress dust have been shown to relate inversely to the prevalence of hay fever, atopic asthma and atopic sensitization ; yet high levels of endotoxin were associated positively with non-atopic wheeze. In turn, levels of muramic acid in mattress dust were associated with a lower frequency of wheezing and asthma among rural children in the ALEX study . These findings are comparable to studies among adult farmers. In the Netherlands, a job exposure matrix was designed to assign individual occupational exposures to endotoxin . Using
this job exposure matrix, endotoxin exposure was related inversely to self-reported symptoms of allergic rhinitis. However, the prevalence of asthma ADP ribosylation factor was augmented with increasing exposure. Similar findings have been reported from an earlier case–control study among Dutch pig farmers . While higher endotoxin levels were associated with a reduced risk for atopic sensitization, farmers with higher levels of endotoxin were more likely to show airway hyperresponsiveness and to have reduced lung function. Therefore, endotoxin may have both beneficiary effects (atopic sensitization, allergic rhinitis) while simultaneously being a risk factor for non-atopic asthma and wheeze. Little is known about immune responses in farm as compared to non-farm children. The Swiss arm of the ALEX study investigated whether growing up on a farm affects the expression of receptors for microbial compounds. Pathogen-associated molecular patterns, evolutionarily highly conserved structural components of microbes, are recognized by similarly conserved receptors of host innate immune systems such as the human Toll-like receptors and CD14.