Seminars in Immunopathology

, Volume 34, Issue 5, pp 671–688

Microbial regulation of allergic responses to food

  • Taylor Feehley
  • Andrew T. Stefka
  • Severine Cao
  • Cathryn R. Nagler
Review

DOI: 10.1007/s00281-012-0337-5

Cite this article as:
Feehley, T., Stefka, A.T., Cao, S. et al. Semin Immunopathol (2012) 34: 671. doi:10.1007/s00281-012-0337-5

Abstract

The incidence of food allergy in developed countries is rising at a rate that cannot be attributed to genetic variation alone. In this review, we discuss the environmental factors that may contribute to the increasing prevalence of potentially fatal anaphylactic responses to food. Decreased exposure to enteric infections due to advances in vaccination and sanitation, along with the adoption of high-fat (Western) diets, antibiotic use, Cesarean birth, and formula feeding of infants, have all been implicated in altering the enteric microbiome away from its ancestral state. This collection of resident commensal microbes performs many important physiological functions and plays a central role in the development of the immune system. We hypothesize that alterations in the microbiome interfere with immune system maturation, resulting in impairment of IgA production, reduced abundance of regulatory T cells, and Th2-skewing of baseline immune responses which drive aberrant responses to innocuous (food) antigens.

Keywords

Microbiome Hygiene hypothesis Dysbiosis Atopy Bacteria 

Abbreviations

TLR

Toll-like receptor

Treg

Regulatory T cells

SCFA

Short-chain fatty acids

LP

Lamina propria

GF

Germ free

APC

Antigen presenting cell

DC

Dendritic cell

MLN

Mesenteric lymph node

OVA

Chicken egg ovalbumin

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Taylor Feehley
    • 1
  • Andrew T. Stefka
    • 1
  • Severine Cao
    • 1
  • Cathryn R. Nagler
    • 2
  1. 1.Committee on Immunology and Department of PathologyUniversity of ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of PathologyThe University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations