Food antigens drive spontaneous IgE elevation in the absence of commensal microbiota
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Young mice lacking the right gut bacteria are sensitive to allergens in food. This suggests that there could be a connection between the gut microbiomes of infants and the development of food allergies early in life.
Recent research has consistently pointed to a link between gut bacteria and food allergies, but the details remain unclear.
Now, a team led by researchers at the Institute for Basic Science in the Republic of Korea has found that exposing young microbe-free mice to a normal diet caused them to produce elevated levels of immunoglobulin E—an antibody implicated in food allergies. In contrast, another group of microbe-free mice that were fed a diet free of anything capable of triggering the immune system did not have abnormal immunoglobulin E levels.
This raises the question of whether a diet free of food allergens may help to prevent the onset of allergies in young children who have been treated with antibiotics.
- Science Advances 5, eaaw1507 (2019). doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw1507