Atopic disorders: a default pathway in the absence of infection?

Immunol Today. 1999 Jul;20(7):317-22. doi: 10.1016/s0167-5699(99)01475-9.


Atopic disorders, such as asthma, are increasingly prevalent in the developed world. Recent epidemiological and experimental data suggest that some infectious diseases prevalent in the developing nations can inhibit the development of allergic disorders. Here, Klaus Erb reviews the data and presents a model showing how a steady decline of infectious diseases could account for an increase in atopic disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Developing Countries
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / epidemiology
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / etiology*
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate / prevention & control
  • Infections / epidemiology
  • Infections / immunology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Th1 Cells / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology