Current environmental health reports vol:3 issue:3
The global increase in the prevalence of asthma has been related to several risk factors; many of them linked to the "westernization" process and the characteristics of the indoor microbial environment during early life may play an important role. Living in moisture damaged homes contributes to the exacerbation and development of asthma. However, living in homes with a rich variety and high levels of microbes (e.g., traditional farming environments) may confer protection. While the results of previous research are rather consistent when it comes to observation/report of indoor moisture damage or when comparing farming versus non-farming homes, when actual measures targeting indoor microbial exposure are included, the picture becomes less clear and the associations appear inconsistent. This may partly be due to limitations of sampling and measurement techniques that make comparisons difficult and provide an incomplete picture of the indoor microbial environment and in particular also human exposure. In this regard, new generation sequencing techniques represent a potential revolution in better understanding the impact of the indoor microbiome on human health.