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Chem Immunol Allergy. 2012;96:1-6. doi: 10.1159/000331802. Epub 2012 Mar 13.

Allergy in evolution.

Author information

1
Asthma and Allergy Disease Center, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA. tap2z@virginia.edu

Abstract

The 'foreignness' of proteins that we encounter in our homes and outdoors is in large part dependent on their evolutionary distance from man. This is relevant to understanding the differences between mammalian allergens, e.g. cats, and arthropod allergens, e.g. mites and cockroaches, as well as to understanding responses to a wide range of food allergens. On the other hand, allergic disease has gone through a major evolution of its own from a prehygiene state where there is minimal production of allergen-specific IgE, to the production of high-titer IgE, and then to the dramatic increase in asthma. The challenge is to understand how changes in both hygiene and lifestyle have contributed to the changes in allergic disease.

PMID:
22433364
DOI:
10.1159/000331802
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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