Bacterial colonization linked to food sensitization, allergy
Jessica H. Savage, M.D., from Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, and colleagues collected intestinal microbiome samples at age 3 to 6 months in children participating in the follow-up phase of an interventional trial of high dose vitamin D during pregnancy. The participants were assessed for food sensitization at age 3. Food allergy was defined as caretaker report of health care provider-diagnosed allergy before age 3 with evidence of immunoglobulin E sensitization.
The researchers found that there were 87 cases of food sensitization and 14 cases of food allergy among 225 children for whom complete data were available. There was no difference between food sensitization and food allergy cases and controls in terms of microbial diversity measures. Among subjects with food sensitization, the genera Haemophilus, Dialister, Dorea, and Clostridium were underrepresented; among subjects with food allergy, the genera Citrobacter, Oscillospira, Lactococcus, and Dorea were underrepresented.
"The temporal association between bacterial colonization and food sensitization and allergy suggests that the microbiome may have a causal role in the development of food allergy," the authors write. "Our findings have therapeutic implications for the prevention and treatment of food allergy."
One author is an employee of Vertex Pharmaceuticals.
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