Researchers hope that this study will shed some light on the ‘soaring incidence of asthma in recent decades’.
It has been shown previously that babies born naturally are exposed to maternal vaginal and intestinal bacteria, while babies delivered by c-section are not. Researchers have suggested that this may create an early-life exercise for the immune system, helping infants to identify and fight pathogens.
Researchers supporting the ‘hygiene hypothesis’ argue that a lack of exposure to such pathogens can be bad for the immune system. They theorize that in the absence of such exposure, immune systems become sensitized to harmless materials, for example, dust or pollen, consequently resulting in conditions such as allergies and asthma. Too hygienic a birth without a welcome dose of mother’s microbes might give rise to a hypersensitive future in a genetically susceptible baby,” Nature quoted allergist Maria Pesonen of the Helsinki Skin and Allergy Hospital in Finland, as saying.