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Normand, Anne-Cécile; Sudre, Bertrand; Vacheyrou, Mallory; Depner, Martin; Wouters, Inge M.; Noss, Ilka; Heederik, Dick; Hyvärinen, Anne; Genuneit, Jon; Braun-Fahrländer, Charlotte; Mutius, Erika von; Piarroux, Renaud (November 2011): Airborne cultivable microflora and microbial transfer in farm buildings and rural dwellings. In: Occupational and environmental medicine, Vol. 68, No. 11: pp. 849-855


Exposure to environments rich in microorganisms such as farms has been shown to protect against the development of childhood asthma and allergies. However, it remains unclear where, and how, farm and other rural children are exposed to microbes. Furthermore, the composition of the microbial flora is poorly characterised. We tested the hypothesis that farm children are exposed indoors to substantial levels of viable microbes originating from animal sheds and barns. We also expected that environmental microbial flora on farms and in farm homes would be more complex than in the homes of rural control children.