Evidence suggests a key pathogenetic role for gut microbiota modifications (dysbiosis) in food allergy development. Several factors responsible for dysbiosis have been associated with the occurrence of food allergy, such as caesarean delivery, lack of breast milk, drugs use (mainly antibiotics and gastric acidity inhibitors), antiseptic agents use, and low fibers/hight fat diet.
No specific bacterial taxa have been consistently associated with food allergy, but evidence suggests that gut dysbiosis occurs even before food allergy signs and symptoms presentation.
Data from animal and human studies highlight the ability of particular bacterial taxa to ferment dietary fibers for the production of short chain fatty acids (SCFAs) that affect host immunity and help to explain their health-promoting role. Among SCFAs butyrate has a pivotal role in tolerance induction.
Modulation of gut microbiota composition and/or function using selected probiotics strains represents a promising strategy for treatment and prevention of food allergy in childhood.
Department of Translational Medical Science-Pediatric Section, European Laboratory for the Investigation of Food Induced Diseases, and CEINGE Advanced Biotechnologies, University of Naples “Federico II”, Naples, Italy