Consensus on the microbiome in allergy development

Understanding of the role of the microbiota in the development and progression of allergic disease continues to evolve. There is increasing evidence that resident microbiota colonizing in the human gastrointestinal tract, airways and skin contributes to health and disease, and that dietary practices in early life influence later risk of allergies later in life.

The microbiome in allergic disease” is a comprehensive new consensus report by PRACTALL – the joint initiative of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology and the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. The paper focusses on what has been established regarding the role of the microbiome in patients with asthma, atopic dermatitis and food allergy and where future opportunities lie for addressing these diseases.

Given the complexity of allergic disease, it is unlikely that the microbiota or microbiome is the only biological mechanism involved in disease development. However, development of a clear understanding of the role played by the microbiota in the development and evolution of allergic disease will help in devising therapies and strategies for better allergy prevention and care.

The open access consensus report by Huang et al. was published in the Journal of Clinical Allergy and Immunology.

The April 2017 issue of this journal is dedicated to the theme ‘The Microbiome’. One paper looks at the development of the immune system and colonization of the host by microbiota at the critical stage of early postnatal life. The authors looked at evidence for a time-restricted period during early life where factors that cause alterations of the microbiota (such as cesarean birth, maternal or post-natal antibiotic use, exposure to pets, and breastfeeding) during this brief period can cause immune effects that can persist into adulthood and create increased susceptibility to allergic and certain other diseases. The paper presents information relating to the role of early-life regulation of the immune system by the microbiota and how it can be related to allergy development.

Reference: Gensollen et al. 2017 Journal of Clinical Allergy and Immunology. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2017.02.011