MARSHFIELD, Wis. (AP) — Marshfield Clinic researchers are enrolling pregnant Wisconsin farmers in a study of children’s allergies and asthma.

News-Herald Media reports the clinic’s National Farm Medicine Center plans to enroll about 100 expectant mothers who live on farms and 100 non-farm women. The center will work with the University of Wisconsin’s asthma and allergy research center to track kids’ development of allergies and respiratory infections for two years, starting before the babies are born.

Marshfield’s center director Matthew Keifer says microbes on farms with livestock are believed to stimulate stronger immune systems and make kids less likely to develop allergies. He says identifying key microbial exposures could help scientists develop preventative treatments for all children.

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