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N Am J Med Sci. 2009 Jun;1(1):2-8.

Concurrent exposure to microbial products and food antigens triggers initiation of food allergy.

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  • 1The McMaster Brain-Body Institute, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine, McMaster University. Hamilton, ON, Canada.


It is estimated that as much as 6-8% population suffers from food allergy or food antigen-related disorders. The prevalence keeps rising. So far we do not have identified remedy to treat food allergy. Avoidance of the offending food is the only effective method currently. Skewed T helper 2 polarization is one of the major feature in the pathogenesis of food allergy. However, the causative mechanism in the initiation of food allergy remains to be further understood. Research in food allergy has got giant advance in recent years. Several animal models have been established and used in food allergy study. One of the common features of these food allergy animal models is that most of them require using microbial products as adjuvant to sensitize animals. This review documents the recent advance in the mechanistic study on concurrent use of microbial products and food antigens to study food allergy.


Dendritic cells; Food allergy; Intestine; Microbe; Oral tolerance; T helper 2 response; T lymphocyte

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