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Diversity of intestinal microbiota in infancy and the risk of allergic disease in childhood

Storrø, Ola; Avershina, Ekaterina; Rudi, Knut

Current Opinion in Allergy & Clinical Immunology: June 2013 - Volume 13 - Issue 3 - p 257–262
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e328360968b
OUTCOME MEASURES: Edited by Henry Milgrom and Ralph Mosges

Purpose of review: Numerous studies have attempted to describe specific microbiota deviations that may precede atopic sensitization and atopic disease in childhood. This has given rise to a hypothesis suggesting that a reduced intestinal microbial diversity in infancy increases the risk of allergic manifestations. This review intends to sum up the main findings and discuss relevant exposures that regulate intestinal microbial diversity.

Recent findings: Taken together the three studies in this review lend support to the diversity hypothesis, but reported differences related to atopic sensitization and clinical expression are discussed. A summary on analytic methods and functional aspect of the microbiota in allergic disease is presented to ameliorate a presentation of recent articles on environmental and host-factors regulating microbiota composition and diversity.

Summary: The current evidence indicates that intestinal microbiota diversity can be associated with allergic diseases, but the exact mechanisms and interactions contributing to this effect are far from understood and need further investigation.

aNorwegian University of Science and Technology, NTNU, Trondheim

bResearch fellow, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, UMB, Ås

cNorwegian University of Life Sciences, UMB, Ås, Norway

Correspondence to Ola Storrø, Inst. for Samfunnsmedisin, NTNU, Håkon Jarls gt. 12, N 7030 Trondheim, Norway. Tel: +47 41508177; fax: +47 73831901; e-mail: olastorro@ntnu.no

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