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Biodiversity and microbiota: a novel pathway to allergy and asthma prevention

Asthma prevalence in New Zealand is amongst the highest in the world and there is no cure or effective prevention. In a previous study in 50,000 infants followed-up for 18 years, we have shown that biodiverse green space was associated with a reduced risk of asthma. We hypothesise that this may be due to increased environmental and human microbial diversity, which have been shown to direct the immune system away from developing allergies and asthma. The proposed study in 900 urban children from Wellington will assess, for the first time, whether biodiversity reduces allergy and asthma risks through differences in indoor and human commensal microbiota and specific immune responses, whilst adjusting for effects of nutrition, physical activity and stress. The overall objective is to increase our understanding of modifiable causes and mechanisms of allergies and asthma, enabling the development of novel and targeted interventions.

CAN YOU HELP US WITH THIS STUDY?

For further information about the study please click this link  or you can take part NOW!

This study is looking at how exposure to the natural environment affects health in children. The study initially involves completing a questionnaire and your child taking part in two tests, a breathing and an allergy test. If your child is 6-11yrs, the research team would be grateful if you would consider taking part!

If you have any questions about the study, you can contact the research team:

                                Email: asthma@massey.ac.nz

                                Phone:   0508 ASTHMA (0508 278 462)

                                Text (SMS):   021 819 745

May 2019

COLLABORATORS

  • Professor Julian Crane
  • University of Otago, NZ
  • Dr Geoffrey Donovan
  • US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, USA
  • Professor Geraint Rogers
  • Flinders University, Australia
  • Professor Chris Cunningham
  • Massey University, NZ
  • Professor Demetrios Gatziolis
  • US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, USA
  • Dr Thorsten Stanley
  • University of Otago, NZ
  • Professor Bernard Breier
  • Massey University, NZ

FUNDING

  • Health Research Council of New Zealand