Researchers are increasingly looking for answers as allergic diseases continue to rise in the population. The predominant explanation, coined the “hygiene hypothesis” by Professor David Strachan in 1989, states that a lack of early childhood exposure to microbes and other infectious agents increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing the natural development of the immune system. The idea was widely reported by the media that developed societies, like the United States, have become “too clean”.
Read the following article about the hygiene hypothesis to learn more, then answer the questions below in your initial post:
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Bradford, A. (2016). What is the Hygiene Hypothesis? Live Science. Accessed at http://www.livescience.com/54078-hygiene-hypothesis.html on September 14, 2016.
- Conduct some independent research on the hygiene hypothesis. What contradictory evidence against the hypothesis can you find?
- Have any new hypotheses been proposed to explain the increase in allergic conditions? How does it support the original hygiene hypothesis?
Do you think the hygiene hypothesis needs to be renamed? Why or why not?