Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie,
MD, PhD, Senior Editor.
To the Editor: Dr Ownby and colleagues1 found that exposure to 2 or more dogs and cats
resulted in decreased allergic sensitization among children followed up between
birth and 6 to 7 years. Curiously, keeping a single pet provided no protection
compared with keeping no pets. However, Ownby et al did not discuss this apparent
absence of a dose-reponse relationship. One might expect that a second dog
or cat would not contribute vastly more endotoxin or specific allergen than
in a household with only 1 pet.
Whelan P. Exposure to Pets in Childhood and Risk of Atopic Disorders. JAMA. 2003;289(7):841-843. doi:10.1001/jama.289.7.841-a