By Alan Mozes
TUESDAY, Sept. 13, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- A relatively rare abnormality in the makeup of germs in an infant's gut may triple the risk for allergies and asthma in childhood, new research warns.
Millions of bacteria and fungi can be found in everyone's gut, but the new study suggests that an out-of-whack combination of bugs, present in less than 10 percent of newborns, may undermine immune system function.
The result: A much higher risk for allergies by 2 years of age and asthma by age 4, the researchers said.
"Previous studies from the last couple of decades have suggested that bacteria in the baby's gastrointestinal tract might be associated with these conditions," explained co-senior study author Susan Lynch. She is director of the Colitis and Crohn's Disease Microbiome Research Core at the University of California, San Francisco.
"However, they were only able with previous technology to evaluate a handful or a few dozen microbes," Lynch explained.
This latest study is the first to harness cutting-edge genetic testing to conduct an in-depth census of both bacterial and fungal content in a newborn's gut, according to Lynch.
The team discovered that at 1 month ...