Farm living is the life for me – to avoid asthma?

A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine recently demonstrates tendencies to develop allergies and asthma may be diminished by early exposure to pooled bacterial dust samples found on family farms combined with low antibiotic use. Conversely, there appeared to be a higher rate of asthma and allergies in subjects exposed to antibiotic use and avoidance of bacterial dust samples. The study included comparison between two insular groups: single family farming with the Amish of Indiana and the highly industrialized farming of Hutterites in South Dakota. Although degree of exposure has not been established, the inverse link has been seen between the groups.