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The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life
Child Health Research Unit, Barwon Health, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia
School of Medicine, Deakin University, Waurn Ponds, Victoria 3216, Australia
Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
Department of Allergy and Immunology, Royal Children's Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
Department of Paediatrics, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3052, Australia
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 13 October 2013; in revised form: 30 November 2013 / Accepted: 3 December 2013 / Published: 16 December 2013
Abstract: There has been a dramatic rise in the prevalence of IgE-mediated food allergy over recent decades, particularly among infants and young children. The cause of this increase is unknown but one putative factor is a change in the composition, richness and balance of the microbiota that colonize the human gut during early infancy. The coevolution of the human gastrointestinal tract and commensal microbiota has resulted in a symbiotic relationship in which gut microbiota play a vital role in early life immune development and function, as well as maintenance of gut wall epithelial integrity. Since IgE mediated food allergy is associated with immune dysregulation and impaired gut epithelial integrity there is substantial interest in the potential link between gut microbiota and food allergy. Although the exact link between gut microbiota and food allergy is yet to be established in humans, recent experimental evidence suggests that specific patterns of gut microbiota colonization may influence the risk and manifestations of food allergy. An understanding of the relationship between gut microbiota and food allergy has the potential to inform both the prevention and treatment of food allergy. In this paper we review the theory and evidence linking gut microbiota and IgE-mediated food allergy in early life. We then consider the implications and challenges for future research, including the techniques of measuring and analyzing gut microbiota, and the types of studies required to advance knowledge in the field.
Keywords: gut microbiota; immune development; food allergy
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Cite This Article
MDPI and ACS Style
Molloy, J.; Allen, K.; Collier, F.; Tang, M.L.K.; Ward, A.C.; Vuillermin, P. The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 7235-7256.
Molloy J, Allen K, Collier F, Tang MLK, Ward AC, Vuillermin P. The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(12):7235-7256.
Molloy, John; Allen, Katrina; Collier, Fiona; Tang, Mimi L.K.; Ward, Alister C.; Vuillermin, Peter. 2013. "The Potential Link between Gut Microbiota and IgE-Mediated Food Allergy in Early Life." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 12: 7235-7256.