The U.S. researchers said the rise in asthma and allergies in the developed world over the past few decades may be linked to antibiotic usage, with the antibiotics knocking out helpful bacteria in the stomach, allowing fungi to take hold and upsetting the immune system's balance. The researchers said airborne allergens are swallowed as well as inhaled and trigger a regulated response from immune cells in the gastrointestinal tract. However, with an increased population of fungi, the immune response to allergens may become hyperactive and create an allergic response.

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