Immunology and Allergy

Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011–12 – National Health Performance Authority – 11 April 2013

Posted on April 17, 2013. Filed under: Immunology and Allergy, Infectious Diseases | Tags: , , , |

Healthy Communities: Immunisation rates for children in 2011–12 – National Health Performance Authority – 11 April 2013

Media release: More than 70,000 Australian children are not fully immunised

Media backgrounder

 

 

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The Hygiene Hypothesis and its implications for home hygiene, lifestyle and public health – International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene – September 2012

Posted on October 23, 2012. Filed under: Immunology and Allergy, Infection Control, Infectious Diseases, Public Hlth & Hlth Promotion | Tags: |

The Hygiene Hypothesis and its implications for home hygiene, lifestyle and public health – International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene – September 2012

Rosalind Stanwell Smith, Sally F. Bloomfield, Graham A. Rook

Extract from the summary

“During the late 20th century, increasing levels of allergic disorders [atopy] prompted much research and debate about possible causes. The predominant explanation, postulated as the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ by Strachan in 1989, implicated smaller family sizes, higher standards of cleanliness, and presumed less contact with childhood infections. The idea was widely taken up by the media as the engaging notion that developed societies have become ‘too clean’. The concept of modern life being cleaner than is good for us was always an over-simplification and misinterpretation of informed medical or scientific opinion, but as a simple idea to grasp in a very complicated story, it has remained very persistent. Possibly its continued popular repetition relates to a general disquiet about many of the changes that have occurred in human society. It has taken only a century or so to transform our societies from mainly rural communities to urban concrete and plastic environments, with cleaner water and safer sanitation. Our home and working environments, diet and other aspects of lifestyle have changed beyond recognition in a very short time. The concept of the hygiene hypothesis has now been extended to the increase in other chronic inflammatory diseases (CIDs), including autoimmune diseases such as type1 diabetes (T1D) and multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and some cancers.

We previously reviewed the research associated with the hygiene hypothesis in 2004, concluding that ‘microbial hypothesis’ would be a better name, since the reference to hygiene in the term gave inappropriate emphasis to the ‘too clean’ notion, which was not supported by evidence of continuing infection threats in the home and elsewhere, or by evidence that modern domestic and personal cleaning habits had reduced microbial exposure. This updated review is necessary because of new research and analysis, such as the extension of variants of the hygiene hypothesis to the larger group of CIDs and also to a wider range of postulated causes. While contemporary microbial exposure is no longer the sole focus of such research, an update is also needed regarding the implications for preventing invasive infectious disease by hygiene practices. The continued reference to ‘hygiene’ as a possible cause of allergy or other disease is confusing and potentially dangerous, if it makes people ignore the consequences of poor food hygiene, lack of hand washing and cleaning to remove possible pathogens from our homes and other environments.

This updated review further examines the evidence for changed microbial exposure, or the lack of it, as a cause for allergy and the chronic inflammatory diseases that have increased in recent decades.”
… continues on the site

ABC Health Report on this

“A new report released in the UK from the International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene dismantles the myth of the hygiene hypothesis, that the rise in allergies and asthma in recent years has happened because we’re living in sterile homes and are overdoing hygiene.”

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Allergic rhinitis (‘hay fever’) in Australia – AIHW – 17 November 2011

Posted on November 17, 2011. Filed under: Immunology and Allergy | Tags: |

Allergic rhinitis (‘hay fever’) in Australia – AIHW – 17 November 2011

“Hay fever is a term commonly used to refer to allergic rhinitis caused by seasonal exposure to pollen. Allergic rhinitis can cause significant irritation and interference in a sufferer’s daily activities, considerably reducing their quality of life. It is one of the most common chronic respiratory conditions in Australia, affecting around 15% of Australians or 3.1 million people. The amount of money paid by community pharmacies to wholesalers for medications commonly used to treat allergic rhinitis doubled between 2001 ($107.8 million) and 2010 ($226.8 million).”

ISBN 978-1-74249-228-5; Cat. no. ACM 23; 50pp

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Diagnosing and Treating Food Allergies: The State of the Research – RAND – June 2010

Posted on June 16, 2010. Filed under: Dietetics, Immunology and Allergy | Tags: |

Diagnosing and Treating Food Allergies: The State of the Research – RAND – June 2010
 
By: Jennifer J. Schneider Chafen, Sydne Newberry, Marc Riedl, Dena M. Bravata, Margaret Maglione, Marika Suttorp, Vandana Sundaram, Neil M. Paige, Ali Towfigh, Benjamin J. Hulley, Paul G. Shekelle

A systematic review of food allergy research found that the prevalence of food allergy in the United States appears to be between 1 and 10 percent, but estimates remain questionable because of poor reliability of the tests used for allergy diagnosis.

Working Paper

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