Wisconsin Infant Study ("WISC")
There is evidence that children who grow up on dairy farms are healthier and have fewer allergies and respiratory illnesses. The hypothesis for the WISC study is that during early life, farm-related exposures microbes (harmless bacterial and fungi) promotes the development of the immune system to boost defenses against common viruses and block the development of allergies. To test this hypothesis, researchers in Marshfield and Madison will recruit 200 families for a new birth cohort study and follow the children to age two years. The ultimate goal of the study is to identify the protective exposures associated with farm life so that the benefits of growing up on a farm can be shared with children who grow up in non-farming environments.