Abstract

Based upon age and type of farming exposures, a wide range of studies demonstrate either protective or deleterious effects of the farming environment on asthma. In this review, we highlight key studies supporting the concept that farming exposure protects children from asthma and atopy based on studies performed largely in European pediatric cohorts. Various types of farming in certain regions appear to have a greater effect on asthma protection, as does the consumption of unpasteurized milk. In the United State, where concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are more common, asthma is increased in children exposed especially to swine CAFOs; whereas, rates of atopy and allergy are lower in these children. We also review studies evaluating the role of farming exposures both as a child and/or as an adult on asthma seen in adults. The importance of microbes in farming environments and the contribution of various components of the innate immune system including toll-like receptors to the underlying mechanisms of asthma related to farming exposures are also reviewed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)356-363
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Immunopharmacology
Volume23
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2014

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Keywords

  • Asthma
  • Atopy
  • Farming
  • Innate immunity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Pharmacology

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