Gene site found for children`s food allergy?
Last Updated: Monday, March 08, 2010, 00:00

Washington: A gene that could be responsible
for a severe and often painful type of food allergy called
eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) has been discovered by American

After doing a genome-wide study, researchers led by
Hakon Hakonarson from The Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia,
found EoE was linked to a region of chromosome 5 that includes
two genes, Nature Genetics journal reported.

"The likely culprit is the gene TSLP, which has higher
activity levels in children with EoE compared to healthy
subjects," Hakonarson said.

"This gene is a plausible candidate because of its
biological role in allergic inflammation".

"In addition, TSLP has been previously linked to
allergic inflammatory diseases, such as asthma and the skin
inflammation, atopic dermatitis," the author said.

A person suffering from EoE, which may cause weight
loss, vomiting, heartburn and swallowing difficulties, may not
be able to eat a wide variety of foods, the study said.

The hallmark of EoE is swelling and inflammation in the
esophagus, accompanied by high levels of immune cells called
eosinophils. It can affect people of any age, but is more
common among young men who have a history of other allergic
diseases such as asthma and eczema.

In the current study, the researchers performed a
genome-wide analysis on 181 samples from the Cincinnati
center, compared to nearly 2,000 healthy controls from The
Children`s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).


First Published: Monday, March 08, 2010, 00:00

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