Turkish Archives of Pediatrics

Epithelial Barrier Hypothesis and Its Comparison with the Hygiene Hypothesis


Department of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, İstanbul University- Cerrahpaşa, Cerrahpaşa Faculty of Medicine, İstanbul, Turkey


Swiss Institute of Allergy and Asthma Research (SIAF), University of Zurich, Davos, Switzerland


Christine Kühne-Center for Allergy Research and Education, Davos, Switzerland

Turk Arch Pediatr 2023; 58: 122-128
DOI: 10.5152/TurkArchPediatr.2023.23006
Read: 1226 Downloads: 472 Published: 01 March 2023

Chronic inflammatory conditions including allergic, autoimmune, metabolic, and neuropsychiatric disorders are constantly increasing and leading to a high burden, especially in more industrialized countries. The prevalence is still on the rise in developing countries. The start of the steep increase in asthma, atopic dermatitis, and allergic rhinitis dates to the 1960s, whereas a second wave with an increase in eosinophilic gastrointestinal disease, food allergy, and drug hypersensitivity started after the 2000s. These diseases also started to appear more with neuropsychiatric and autoimmune conditions during the last few decades. Many theories have been proposed to explain this outbreak. The hygiene hypothesis was consolidated by “old friends” and biodiversity, although some gaps remained unresolved. The introduction of the epithelial barrier hypothesis gave us a new perspective to explain the effects of industrialization without environment control and health concerns creeping into our daily lives. The present review touches on the possible explanations of why epithelial barrier hypothesis covers all previous ones, which are not contradictory but mostly complementary.

Cite this article as: Kıykım A, Öğülür İ, Yazıcı D, Çokuğraş H, Akdiş M, Akdiş CA. Epithelial barrier hypothesis and its comparison with the hygiene hypothesis.Turk Arch Pediatr.2023;58(2):122-128.

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