Zulfiqar Rana, MD, MPH, FACP

Board Certified in Internal Medicine

Breathing Dirt

In the PARSIFAL study (6843 participants), researchers analyzed mattress dust samples for environmental bacteria via DNA signatures, which detect bacteria that cannot be measured by culture. In the GABRIELA study (9668 participants), researchers used culture techniques to evaluate bacterial and fungal taxa in dust from children’s rooms. Both studies showed that farm-dwelling children had a lower incidence of asthma and atopy and were exposed to a larger variety of environmental microorganisms than non–farm-dwellers. Microbial diversity was inversely related to asthma risk. An inverse relationship was seen between asthma incidence rates and exposure to certain fungal and bacterial species…



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