Homeopathy 2005; 94(03): 182-195
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2005.03.003
Original Paper
Copyright ©The Faculty of Homeopathy 2005

The influence of childhood infections and vaccination on the development of atopy: A systematic review of the direct epidemiological evidence

UC Adler
Further Information

Publication History

Received 19 July 2004
revised 08 December 2004

accepted 17 March 2005

Publication Date:
29 December 2017 (online)

Abstract

Background The ‘hygiene hypothesis’ has been used to justify a belief common among homeopaths, that the suppression of childhood infections and immunisation may lead to the development of chronic atopic diseases.

Objectives To analyse the influence of childhood infections and immunisation on the development of atopy.

Methods Qualitative systematic review of direct epidemiological evidence (Medline 1993–2004) concerning the influence of childhood infections and immunisation on the development of atopy and discussion based on homeopathy.

Conclusions (1) Childhood infections do not protect against atopy; on the contrary, they increase the risk of allergic diseases, in agreement to Hahnemann's observations, which included epidemic diseases among the factors capable of stimulating the development of chronic diseases. (2) Vaccination is not a risk factor for atopy, notwithstanding the allergenic effect of some vaccines.