Current Allergy and Asthma Reports

, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 58–64 | Cite as

Genetics of food allergy

  • Stephen C. DreskinEmail author


Allergic reactions to foods are an important medical problem throughout the industrialized world. The occurrence of food allergy appears to be strongly in.uenced by genetics, but the basis of the genetic predisposition to food allergy has not been differentiated from that for atopy in general. In addition, genetic susceptibility alone does not explain the prevalence of food allergy satisfactorily, leaving ample room to consider the importance of environmental in.uences (external, maternal, and gastrointestinal environment) and interactions between the host and the environment. Several features of food allergy are highlighted in this review: 1) patients with severe food allergies are overwhelmingly atopic, but food allergy occurs only in approximately 10% of patients with other atopic diseases; 2) most patients are clinically reactive to a single food, and although a substantial minority have multiple food allergies, the variety of bonefide food allergies in a given individual is limited; 3) foods contain multiple proteins whereas only a small subset are allergenic; 4) there is likely an important contribution of the environment, becoming manifest in genetically susceptible individuals.


Human Leukocyte Antigen Food Allergy Allergy Clin Immunol Human Leukocyte Antigen Class Atopic Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© Current Science Inc 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Department of MedicineUniversity of Colorado Health Sciences CenterDenverUSA

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