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Work-related allergic sensitization and asthma: longitudinal studies for characterization and prevention


A multicenter clinical trial performed by our team showed increased prevalence of allergic sensitization among university students and workers dealing with laboratory animals. This occupational sensitization was associated with higher prevalence of asthma, rhinitis and skin symptoms. In the last decades, there have been many reports of increasing prevalence of allergic diseases in childhood and in the general population across the world. Theories and studies have attributed this phenomenon to the reduced contact with microorganisms - hygiene hypothesis. Probiotics are defined as ''live microorganisms which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host". They can act as immunomodulatory agents. A guideline panel suggests using probiotics in pregnancy, during breastfeeding and for infants at high risk of developing allergy. We propose a set of national, multicenter, multidisciplinary studies to test the hypothesis of beneficial effects of probiotics on the prevention of allergy, asthma, periodontitis, nutritional abnormalities and constipation symptoms. Our sample will include university students and workers at high risk of work-related allergic diseases. Parallel studies aim to evaluate probiotic effect on potentially responsive clinical conditions; aim to describe mechanisms in clinical and experimental studies; and, aim to control quality of our major studies on allergy prevention. This proposal is innovative, planned according to clinical research difficulties and aimed at optimal yield of human and monetary resources. Expected results include a low cost approach for prophylaxis of diseases that are prevalent, chronic, incurable and related to relevant morbidity and mortality. (AU)

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