Warning over strain of bacteria lurking in nurseries that can trigger killer condition | The Sun
SCIENTISTS have discovered types of bacteria in nurseries that could put your child at risk of asthma.
Children at day cares where Streptococcus and Lactococcus bacteria were dominant have greater chances of the condition, researchers found.
Dr Annabelle Bedard, of the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research, said the bacteria increased the likelihood of children wheezing.
She said: “In children under three years old, wheezing is considered to be an early sign of asthma.
“Our research suggests that there are differences in the risk of recurrent wheezing depending on mixtures of bacteria in the day care setting.
“We now need to understand what factors influence this bacterial community, for example how the rooms are cleaned and ventilated, and indoor air quality.
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“This could help understand how to improve conditions and inform public health strategies for preventing chronic respiratory diseases such as asthma in children.”
Around 5.4million Brits have asthma, including one in every 11 children, according to Asthma and Lung UK.
The long-term lung condition causes the airways to become inflamed and sensitive, often causing coughing, wheezing, breathlessness and a tight chest.
When symptoms flare up, this can trigger an asthma attack — a life-threatening complication that kills four Brits every year.
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Asthma can run in families and is more likely if you have allergies, but its exact cause is unknown.
The study, presented at the European Respiratory Society International Congress in Milan, looked at how bacteria in nurseries affected children’s risks.
Researchers used an adapted vacuum cleaner to collect samples of dust from the floor of 103 different daycares in Paris.
The samples were analysed in a lab to see what bacteria was present.
At the same time, they asked the parents of 515 children attending the nurseries whether their children experienced any symptoms, including wheezing.
Nurseries where Streptococcus — which can cause Strep A — and Lactococcus bacteria were dominant were linked to a greater risk of wheezing compared to ones where Streptococcus, Neisseria and Haemophilus were the main strains present.
Professor Angela Zacharasiewicz, of the European Respiratory Society, said: “There are bacteria and other microbes living all around us and we are starting to understand that they can have positive and negative effects on our respiratory health.
“We still have a great deal to learn about these complex communities and how our bodies respond to them.
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“This study suggests a link between the respiratory health of the young children and the mixture of bacteria in their day care facilities.
“Hopefully, understanding more about these interactions will help us create the healthiest environments for our young children to grow and thrive.”
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