alexa The hygiene hypothesis and atopy: bring back the parasites?


Journal of Allergy & Therapy

Author(s): Elston DM

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Atopy has been increasing in prevalence in the industrialized world for at least two decades, but the same increase has not been noted in the developing world.1,2 The hygiene hypothesis suggests that lack of exposure to infectious agents during childhood results in a balance of T helper 1 (Th1) and T helper 2 (Th2) type immune responses that favor atopy. Typical Th1 cytokines include IL-12 and interferon (IFN)-γ, whereas Th2 cytokines include IL-4, IL-5, IL-9, and IL-13. Most antimicrobial responses are Th1 responses, whereas atopy is associated with a Th2 pattern of cytokines.

This article was published in J Am Acad Dermatol. and referenced in Journal of Allergy & Therapy

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