Scientists have found a species of bacteria in a human infant gut. Apparently, it protects against food allergies and may actually be useful in therapies to reverse this condition. Right now, there is only one way to prevent this kind of reaction. People with this disease need to actually avoid eating the food they are allergic to.
In some preclinical studies on a mouse, the team found that giving the enriched oral formulation of 6 species of a bacteria found in the human gut, protected against food allergies. Moreover, they reversed the disease by reinforcing tolerance of the food allergens.
This is actually a significant change in the approach to therapeutics for food allergies. They have found the microbes that are associated with protection and those that are associated with food allergies in patients.
About the study
Scientists have conducted studies for both human and preclinical models in order to understand the important bacteria species that are involved in food allergies. The team has collected fecal samples every 4 to 6 months from about 56 infants who developed food allergies. They found many differences when they compared their microbiota to 98 infants who did not produce food allergies.
The fecal microbiota samples from infants, which had or hadn’t food allergies. They were then transplanted into mice who were sensitive to eggs. Those mice who got microbiota from the healthy controls were protected against together who did receive it from the infants that had food allergies.
By using computational approaches, scientists have analyzed differences in microbes of children that have food allergies and those who don’t. They did it in order to identify the bacteria that are associated with the protection or food allergies in patients. They also wanted to see if the orally administered protective bacteria to mice could actually prevent the development of food allergies.
Meagan Kozlovs is a reporter for Debate Report. She’s worked and interned at Global News Toronto and CHECX. Megan is based in Toronto and covers issues affecting her city. In addition to her severe milk shake addiction, she’s a Netflix enthusiast, a red wine drinker, and a voracious reader.