Bacteria Exposure Can Help Prevent Asthma

November 28, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. wheeze / weez / (n.) – sound showing a struggle to breathe
Example: My brother’s wheezes woke me up.

2. expose / ɪkˈspoʊz / (v.) – to cause someone to be in contact with something
Example: Because of his allergies, he must not be exposed to dust.

3. distinguish / dɪˈstɪŋ gwɪʃ / (v.) – to tell something apart
Example: He could not distinguish what’s wrong with his stomach.

4. limit / ˈlɪm ɪt / (v.) – to lessen or restrict something
Example: The doctor advised him to limit his alcohol intake.

5. optimal / ˈɒp tə məl / (adj.) – being at its most desirable state
Example: She will join the game while she is at her optimal condition.


Read the text below.
Good bacteria may be the key to preventing asthma, study says.

Researchers from the University of British Columbia and the Children's Hospital in Vancouver teamed up to examine the link between certain types of bacteria and the development of asthma. Using a wheeze and skin allergy test, they discovered that three-month-old children who lack particular types of bacteria have a high risk of developing asthma at three years old.

These types of bacteria are Faecalibacterium, Lachnospira, Veillonella, and Rothia.  However, the same findings did not apply for one-year-old children, which implies that babies who are a few months old are more at risk.

One of the possible reasons that researchers have come up with is based on the "hygiene hypothesis.” It implies that when children are not exposed to enough microbes or bacteria, their immune system will not be regulated enough to distinguish what is harmful and helpful.

A few causes that limit microbe exposure in babies are when they are birthed through Caesarean section, and when they are not breastfed. Mothers who take antibiotics while pregnant also limit the microbe exposure of their newborn babies.

Asthma is a condition wherein a person's lungs swell, causing difficulty in breathing. While asthma patients have been discouraged to engage in physical activity, the BMJ Open Respiratory Research revealed that asthma patients who are regularly engaged in the optimal level of physical activity were found to have better control of their symptoms, as opposed to those who did not exercise.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you believe that it is better to expose children to bacteria when they are babies? Why or why not?
·         What are some things that parents can do to ensure that their baby will grow up healthy?

Discussion B

·         What did you know about curing asthma before reading this article?
·         What do you think you can do to help those with asthma?

November 28, 2015