Research has demonstrated infants exposed to cats and dogs in early life may have reduced risk of developing allergies and obesity.

IMAGE: capifrutta / Fotolia.
Infants exposed to furry animals before and after birth may have reduced risk of developing allergies and obesity. IMAGE: capifrutta / Fotolia.

Led by researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, the study found subjects – before birth and up to three months after – experienced significant increases in two beneficial gut bacteria: Ruminococcus and Oscillospira.

Reduced risk

Previous studies have linked Ruminococcus to a reduced risk of childhood allergies, while Oscillospira has been associated with a decreased obesity risk.

The study, Exposure to household furry pets influences the gut microbiota of infants at 3-4 months following various birth scenarios – published in the journal Microbiome and reported in Medical News Today – analysed data from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development Study cohort, including 746 infants born between 2009 and 2012.

Two-fold increase

Researchers found infants exposed to furry animals before and after birth demonstrated a two-fold increase in the abundance of Ruminococcus and Oscillospira in their guts, compared with infants not exposed to household pets.

These findings remained even after accounting for three factors that can influence an infant’s gut bacteria:

  • delivery by cesarean section
  • antibiotics during birth
  • limited breast-feeding
View your activity >

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of
avatar

wpDiscuz

related content

A cat that suffered first degree burns after climbing under a car bonnet and remaining for a 150-mile journey is on the road to recovery.

5 mins

Cytopoint (lokivetmab) from Zoetis is a new treatment for the clinical signs of atopic dermatitis in dogs, including itch and inflammation.

3 mins

The leg of a two-year-old Münsterländer dog has been saved from amputation using medical technology funded by Sir Bobby Charlton’s landmine charity, Find A Better Way.

6 mins

Gerardo Poli explains how the SNAP cortisol test is useful in helping assess for hypoadrenocorticism, but urges caution for hyperadrenocorticism diagnosis.

6 mins

A north-east veterinary practice has achieved the Gold Standard Cat Friendly Clinic award from International Cat Care.

3 mins

Fiona Adam and James Histed describe methods of assessing high blood pressure in felines, causes of the condition and various organ damage.

44 mins