Chapter 19: Application of Omics to the Investigation of Food Allergy
Published:23 Mar 2021
M. Mennini, V. Marzano, L. Putignani, and A. Fiocchi, in Foodomics: Omic Strategies and Applications in Food Science, ed. J. Barros-Velázquez, The Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021, ch. 19, pp. 461-487.
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Prediction, prevention, diagnosis and management of food allergy can take advantage of a series of omics approaches. They can provide (1) information on the disease itself and the affected organism, and (2) information on the environmental factors determining food allergy, including all the exposomic determinants. As to the first objective, data from genetics, epigenetics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics evaluations can be combined. Their integration can outline the path of sensitization to food allergens with absolute precision, can help in identifying predictive factors and early diagnostic factors, can assist in the phenotyping of food allergy, and, in particular, in the identification of patients who respond positively to oral immunotherapy. The applications for the exposome are even wider. Bacterial genomics can help establish associations between species, genera, and phyla of bacteria in gut microbiota and food allergy. Metabolomic techniques can identify bacterial metabolites in the intestine and their functions in the development of disease and its resolution. The level of environmental exposure to allergens, toxins, bacterial glycoproteins, and pollutants can be important in interpreting the genesis of food allergy. Finally, proteomic methods are becoming protagonists in the context of precautionary food allergen labeling. It is no exaggeration to say that these techniques will revolutionize the field of food allergy in the next 10 years.