Dogs have a bad reputation for causing allergy flare-ups in kids. But new research suggests that having a dog in the house may actually help prevent childhood asthma.
Infants can easily acquire the respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). This increases a child’s chance of developing asthma later in life. By experimenting on mice, researchers found that the dust from a house with a dog builds immunity to RSV. While the research is in its infancy, scientists are hopeful they can use the findings to reduce the number of RSV infections.
“These findings are the first step towards creating a therapy to protect infants against RSV and therefore lessening the occurrence of asthma in the long term,” says Dr. Kei Fujimura, a molecular biologist at the University of California, San Francisco.