Dust mite allergens in breast milk may prevent food allergies

September 21, 2020

Dust mite allergens in breast milk may prevent food allergies, according to new research.

The study, published in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, suggests house dust mite allergens present in breast milk may lead to food allergy developments later in life.

Researchers found that oral exposure to Dermatophagoides pteronyssinus through breast milk altered tolerance to the common food allergen ovalbumin—the main protein found in egg whites.

For early prevention of food allergies, the researchers say that targeting certain allergens may be the key. “The next steps will be to validate our observation in a large human study,” the authors wrote. “If validated, we propose that manipulating the levels of D. pteronyssinus allergen in breast milk and/or its protease activity will be necessary to endow breast milk with the capacity to protect from food allergy by oral tolerance induction.”

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