Evolution of the hygiene hypothesis into biota alteration theory: what are the paradigms and where are the clinical applications?

Microbes Infect. 2018 Mar;20(3):147-155. doi: 10.1016/j.micinf.2017.11.001. Epub 2017 Nov 10.


For thousands of years, changes in human cultures have altered the biota associated with the human body, and those alterations have strongly influenced human health. The hygiene hypothesis has evolved over the past 30 years into a nuanced biota alteration theory, but modern medical priorities and regulatory policies have resulted in tragic underutilization of the acquired knowledge.

Keywords: Biome; Biota; Helminth; Hygiene hypothesis; Microbiota.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biodiversity*
  • Biota / physiology*
  • Culture
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Humans
  • Hygiene Hypothesis*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Inflammation / microbiology
  • Microbiota / physiology
  • Models, Biological*
  • Public Health