Biodiversity intervention enhances immune regulation and health-associated commensal microbiota among daycare children (Roslund et al, 2020)

Consul

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Abstract

As the incidence of immune-mediated diseases has increased rapidly in developed societies, there is an unmet need for novel prophylactic practices to fight against these maladies. This study is the first human intervention trial in which urban environmental biodiversity was manipulated to examine its effects on the commensal microbiome and immunoregulation in children. We analyzed changes in the skin and gut microbiota and blood immune markers of children during a 28-day biodiversity intervention. Children in standard urban and nature-oriented daycare centers were analyzed for comparison. The intervention diversified both the environmental and skin Gammaproteobacterial communities, which, in turn, were associated with increases in plasma TGF-β1 levels and the proportion of regulatory T cells. The plasma IL-10:IL-17A ratio increased among intervention children during the trial. Our findings suggest that biodiversity intervention enhances immunoregulatory pathways and provide an incentive for future prophylactic approaches to reduce the risk of immune-mediated diseases in urban societies.

The study: https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.aba2578#

So this was a intervention where kids in kindergarten got a setting change with elements from nature like plants, moss and grass etc. The result is increased microbiome diversity in the skin and in the gut. Regarding the cytokines mentioned in the abstract, IL10 is antiinflammatory while IL17 is associated with immune related diseases. I will try to "meddle" more with nature now instead of just walking in it.
 

Pyrrhus

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Thanks for posting!

Very interesting. I really would have liked them to study the viruses as well as the bacteria. (Any parent of a kid in daycare or kindergarten knows just how many viruses they bring home!)

We analyzed changes in the skin and gut microbiota and blood immune markers of children during a 28-day biodiversity intervention.
So this was a intervention where kids in kindergarten got a setting change with elements from nature like plants, moss and grass etc. The result is increased microbiome diversity in the skin and in the gut.
Our findings suggest that biodiversity intervention enhances immunoregulatory pathways and provide an incentive for future prophylactic approaches to reduce the risk of immune-mediated diseases in urban societies.
In case it's not clear, this study assumes the "Hygiene Hypothesis", which states that early exposure to pathogens found in nature helps to prevent future "immunological disease".

The Hygiene Hypothesis dates back to the early 1970s. Some aspects of the original hypothesis have been confirmed by subsequent studies, but other aspects of the hypothesis have been disproven.

The implications of the hygiene hypothesis remain controversial. Proponents of the hypothesis argue that modern living is "too clean" and that children need to be exposed to more pathogens to improve their immune system. Some of these proponents have opposed mask-wearing and social distancing by kids because they think it worsens their immune system.
 

Consul

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I was speculating when i read this that the reason women (and i think particularly urban women but not sure) is about 4-6 times more likely to have ME than men could be because they are more cleanly than men, and use more beauty products on their skin, bath more etc so that their skin- and gut microbiome just becomes so far from the stone age microbiome norm that it doesnt work anymore . Not sure if it holds up though;)