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Study: Lice may help prevent asthma

April 23, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Researchers are trying to find out if lice can prevent asthma or allergies.A study, published in the BioMed Central journal BMC Biology, found that mice that carried lice had calmer immune systems than uninfested rodents.

Humans can also be infested with lice, but the species that affects humans does not affect other animals.

Researchers believe that if the immune system is not properly primed in childhood, parasites like lice can trigger the immune system in humans, making their bodies less likely to react to harmless triggers like pollens and dander.

The study supports the theory that the rise in asthma and allergies can be linked to hyperclean living.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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