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Endotoxin: Friend or Foe?

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Endotoxin in our living environment has been of increasing interest to our global community of allergists. Initially and largely studied for its capacity to mediate septic shock (and earning its "-toxin" suffix), we have since come to understand that endotoxin in the dust of many occupational settings also is an occult respiratory culprit, inducing airflow obstruction and aggravating asthma and allergies. More recently, environmental endotoxin has been implicated as a microbial exposure in early childhood that may have an atopy-protective effect by augmenting early Th1-type immune development. Although seemingly paradoxical, endotoxin's dual nature ultimately may serve to enlighten our understanding of how such bioactive exposures can interact with and guide our immune systems in both health and disease.

Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2001-11-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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