Discovery Guides Areas


Hygiene in the Industrial World:
An Unhealthy Obsession with Cleanliness?

(Released June 2011)

  by Kathryn Mori & Carolyn Scearce  


Key Citations




Resources eLibrary Resources
eLibrary Resources

    Department store sales clerk Hiromi Konishi displays anti-hayfever mask and goggles at Toyko's Mitsukoshi department store, 21 February 2005. Japanese are bracing for what may be the worst pollen season on record, with 30 times more cedar and cypress pollens than last year expected to hit the capital from March to May. The national allergy to pollens will push up state health insurance costs and undermine workplace efficiencies as one in every 10 Japanese fall victim to constant sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.
    YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/Agence France Presse (2005).

    A young girl waits for private water vendors to open the tap in the Kibera slum in Nairobi, Kenya, 10 December 2003. With nearly half a million residents, Kibera is one of the largest slums in Africa and it is served by only 4 water kiosks where the water from the city councils is sold. Private vendors, often illegally connected to the main pipes, offer water in alternative kiosks where during the dry season and during periods of shortages, residents queue for up to six hours. Aware of the health risks in Kibera, Nairobi City Council, which is able to supply some water but no sewer facilities, immunizes villagers every three months against water-borne diseases.
    MARCO LONGARI/Agence France Presse (2003).

  3. Father Thames Introduces his Offspring to the Fair City of London, a design for a fresco in the new Houses of Parliament
    English School, (19th century)/ Bridgeman (2004).
Resources taken from Proquest's eLibrary

Charts and Tables
  1. Figure 2. Immunomodulators secreted by nematode parasites and their host target cells. (A) B. malayi adult worms: CPI-2, MIF-1/2. (B) B. malayi microfilariae: SPN-2. (C) B. malayi infective larvae (L3): ALT-1/2. (D) N. brasiliensis adult worms: NES. (E) H. polyg yrus adult worms: HES. (F) T. canis adult worms: glycans and lectins. Images are from our own laboratory, with thanks to Bill Gregory (A), Judith Allen and Andrew MacDonald (B), Bill Gregory and Sinclair Stammers (C), Julie Healer and Sinclair Stammers (D), Constance Finney (E) and Tony Page (F). See text for details of all mediators mentioned.

    Exploring the immunology of parasitism - from surface antigens to the hygiene hypothesis
    MAIZELS, RM, Parasitology. Vol. 136, no. 12, pp. 1549-1564. Oct 2009.
  2. Figure 1. The immune system evolved in the presence of helminths. The earliest dates of colonization by helminth lineages are mapped onto a phylogenetic history of vertebrates. Also mapped are major putative events in immune system evolution and the appearance of mediators of importance in anti-helminth responses. Divergence times of the major vertebrate groups from the mammalian lineage are indicated (Mya, million years ago). 96 Macrophage-, 97 eosinophil- 98 and mast- 99 like cells occur in Agnathans (lampreys) predating the appearance of classical adaptive immunity. The evolution of classical adaptive immunity was possibly preceded 100 by two rounds of whole genome, or large-scale partial genome, duplication (4 n and then 8 n). Insertion of recombination activating (RAG) genes 101 into the genome then allowed the evolution of the recombinatorial receptor system underpinning T-cell and B-cell functions. This occurred at some point between the divergences of the Agnatha (lampreys and hagfishes) and the Chondricthyes (sharks and rays). Colonization by platyhelminths occurred within this period, with all extant parasitic groups believed to be derived from a single common parasitic ancestor. 4 The earliest evidence of Th2 cytokines 102 104 and alternatively (aaMΦ) versus classically (caMΦ) activated macrophages 105,106 is found in the Actinopterygii (bony fishes). Colonization of land probably allowed the invasion of primitive tetrapods by parasitic nematodes 3,5 (molecular phylogenetic analyses suggest at least four independent invasions). 107 The immunoglobulin E (IgE) isotype, important in anti-helminth responses, is a recent innovation in the mammalian lineage. Ig, immunoglobulin; MÏ, macrophage. 108

    Review series on helminths, immune modulation and the hygiene hypothesis: Immunity against helminths and immunological phenomena in modern human populations: coevolutionary legacies?
    Jackson, Joseph A; Friberg, Ida M; Little, Susan; Bradley, Janette E, Immunology. Vol. 126, suppl. 1, pp. 18-27. Jan 2009.
  3. Figure 1. Sensitization, inflammation and wheezing. Increases in asthma (reversible airway obstruction) prevalence/severity could occur because of changes at different stages of the hypersensitivity and inflammatory response in the lungs. The Roman numerals refer to the three hypotheses listed in Table 1.

    Original article: Is the hygiene hypothesis still a viable explanation for the increased prevalence of asthma?
    Platts-Mills, TAE; Erwin, E; Heymann, P; Woodfolk, J, Allergy. Vol. 60, no. s79, pp. 25-31. May 2005.
Tables taken from ProQuest's Illustrata
  1. Elaine Larson
    Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University
    Nosocomial Infections, Evidence-Based Practice, Skin Hygiene, Infection Prevention And Control, Nursing Practice, Infectious Diseases; Antimicrobial Resistance; Infection Prevention and Control; Research Ethics

  2. Rick Maizels
    Professor, Institute of Evolutionary Biology, Institute of Immunology & Infection Research, University of Edinburgh
    Immune modulating molecules of helminths

  3. Donata Vercelli
    Professor, Department of Immunology, University of Arizona
    The molecular mechanisms that regulate allergic inflammation in humans. The impact of genetic variation on gene expression and function in allergic disease.

Scholars taken from ProQuest's Community of Scholars