Ulcer bug may prevent asthma | Science News

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Ulcer bug may prevent asthma

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2:40pm, October 23, 2007

From San Diego, at a meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America

Call it a bad-bug, good-bug story. Children whose stomachs carry the bacterium Helicobacter pylori are at lower risk for asthma than children who don't have the bug, according to an analysis of a nationwide study.

Starting in the 1980s, H. pylori gained notoriety as the cause of most stomach ulcers. The bug also increases the risk for stomach cancer.

Increasing antibiotic use has cleared H. pylori from more than 90 percent of children, says Martin Blaser, a physician and microbiologist at the New York University School of Medicine in New York City. But his research shows that this microbial an

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