Bacteria and endotoxin in the indoor environment and lung health
In recent decades, the prevalence of allergic diseases and asthma has increased dramatically. Since humans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, they are exposed to a variety of airborne microbial species and their products. As an example, endotoxin, a proinflammatory component of Gram-negative bacteria, is known to be associated with asthma and allergy.
This PhD project aims to describe the composition of bacteria in the home environment and study the association between exposure to these bacteria and respiratory health.
This project will use data and indoor environmental samples collected from the homes of participants from the ECRHS study from five cities in Northern Europe (Bergen, Aarhus, Uppsala, Reykjavik, and Tartu). We expect that this will improve our understanding regarding the mechanisms by which exposure to bacteria and bacterial components like endotoxin may influence respiratory health.