News from ISGlobal
Indoor levels of endotoxins - molecules associated with the cell membranes of certain bacteria - are strongly associated with cat and dog ownership, but it is not clear whether they are themselves the source of the endotoxins, whether they could be acting as vectors of the outdoor microbial environment, or simply be a proxy of living in greener suburban or rural areas.
The results of a study performed by ISGlobal, an institution supported by the “la Caixa” Foundation, in collaboration with the Helmholtz Zentrum München – German Research Center for Environmental Health, show that the association of higher levels of indoor endotoxins with pet ownership was not modified by the amount of greenspace around the home. The authors conclude that further studies are now needed to better understand how outdoor pets influence indoor endotoxin levels, as greenspaces around the home doesn’t seem to be the key.
Endotoxins are ubiquitous in indoor environments and early exposure to them may play a role in the development of respiratory and allergic disorders.
The article was published in Science of the Total Environment.
Fuertes E, Standl M, Markevych I, Bischof W, Heinrich J. Is the association between pet ownership and indoor endotoxin levels confounded or modified by outdoor residential greenspace? Sci Total Environ. 2018 Jan 3;625:716-721. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.12.333.