Microbial Adjuncts for Food Allergen Immunotherapy

  • Hsi-en Ho
  • Supinda BunyavanichEmail author
Immunotherapy and Immunomodulators (B Vickery, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Immunotherapy and Immunomodulators


Purpose of Review

Food allergen immunotherapy may benefit from adjunct therapies to enhance safety and efficacy. We review preclinical studies investigating the effects of probiotics and other microbial-based interventions on oral tolerance, describe the human clinical trial evidence thus far for microbial adjuncts, and discuss steps for translating research findings in this area to clinical therapy.

Recent Findings

Murine studies support that microbial-based interventions confer protection against sensitization and may augment treatment efficacy for food allergy. Microbial adjunct therapies can promote regulatory T cells and modulate Th1 vs. Th2 responses. There is a wide array of novel modalities utilizing microbial components. Ongoing efforts are focused on translating preclinical data into potential treatments.


Probiotics, prebiotics, and microbial components have all been examined as microbial adjunct therapies in murine models of food allergy. The effects of probiotics appear to be strain-specific. Prebiotics and bacterial components are innovative modalities to modulate oral tolerance. Better characterization of dysbiosis in human cohorts with food allergy, deeper mechanistic understanding of microbial adjunct therapies, safety evaluation, and careful clinical trial design will be crucial for the development of microbial adjuncts for food allergen immunotherapy. Microbial adjunct therapies have the potential to enhance the efficacy, safety, and durability of food allergen immunotherapy.


Food allergy Immunotherapy Microbiome Microbiota Microbial adjunct Peanut allergy Probiotics Prebiotics Oral tolerance 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Dr. Bunyavanich reports grants from the National Institutes of Health, during the conduct of the study. Dr. Hsi-en Ho declares no conflicts of interest relevant to this manuscript.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of PediatricsIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Icahn Institute for Genomics and Multiscale Biology, Department of Genetics & Genomic SciencesIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA

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