Recent research has shown that dogs may offer protection from respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a common virus in infants associated with high risks for the development of asthma. Mice fed dust from homes with dogs prior to exposure to RSV showed immunity to the virus when compared to mice fed dust from dog-free homes. Moreover, the dog-exposed mice had “a distinct gastrointestinal bacterial composition,” that may lend to this immunity. The researchers are now planning on identifying the microbes responsible for this immune protection in the hope of developing a vaccine.
With this news, maybe we should be calling dogs “baby’s best friend.”