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1.  Infant gut microbiota and the hygiene hypothesis of allergic disease: impact of household pets and siblings on microbiota composition and diversity 
Background
Multiple studies have demonstrated that early-life exposure to pets or siblings affords protection against allergic disease; these associations are commonly attributed to the “hygiene hypothesis”. Recently, low diversity of the infant gut microbiota has also been linked to allergic disease. In this study, we characterize the infant gut microbiota in relation to pets and siblings.
Methods
The study population comprised a small sub-sample of 24 healthy, full term infants from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort. Mothers reported on household pets and siblings. Fecal samples were collected at 4 months of age, and microbiota composition was characterized by high-throughput signature gene sequencing.
Results
Microbiota richness and diversity tended to be increased in infants living with pets, whereas these measures were decreased in infants with older siblings. Infants living with pets exhibited under-representation of Bifidobacteriaceae and over-representation of Peptostreptococcaceae; infants with older siblings exhibited under-representation of Peptostreptococcaceae.
Conclusions
This study provides new evidence that exposure to pets and siblings may influence the early development of the gut microbiota, with potential implications for allergic disease. These two traditionally protective “hygiene hypothesis” factors appear to differentially impact gut microbiota composition and diversity, calling into question the clinical significance of these measures. Further research is required to confirm and expand these findings.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-9-15
PMCID: PMC3655107  PMID: 23607879
Infants; Gut microbiota; Gut microbiome; Hygiene hypothesis; Microflora hypothesis; Pets; Siblings; Atopy; Allergic disease; Environmental exposures
8.  Should Younger Siblings of Peanut-Allergic Children Be Assessed by an Allergist before Being Fed Peanut? 
The objective of this study was to determine the risk of peanut allergy in siblings of peanut-allergic children. In 2005-2006, 560 households of children born in 1995 in the province of Manitoba, Canada, were surveyed. The index children (8-to 10-year-olds) were assessed by a pediatric allergist and had skin-prick testing and/or capRAST for peanut allergy. Surveys were completed by parents for siblings to determine the presence of peanut allergy. Of 560 surveys, 514 (92%) were completed. Twenty-nine (5.6%) index children were peanut allergic. Fifteen of 900 (1.7%) siblings had peanut allergy. Four of 47 (8.5%) were siblings of peanut-allergic children and 11 of 853 (1.3%) were siblings of non-peanut-allergic children. The risk of peanut allergy was markedly increased in siblings of a peanut-allergic child (odds ratio 6.72, 95% confidence interval 2.04-22.12). Siblings of peanut-allergic children are much more likely to be allergic to peanut. An allergy assessment by a qualified allergist should be routinely recommended before feeding peanut to these children.
doi:10.1186/1710-1492-4-4-144
PMCID: PMC2868888  PMID: 20525137
allergy tests; cohort study; odds ratio; peanut allergy; siblings

Results 1-8 (8)