The role of the microbiome in allergy - Twitter summary from EAACI-WAO Congress 2013

This summary was compiled from the tweets posted by allergists/immunologists who attended the EAACI-WAO Congress 2013. The tweets were labeled #eaaciwao2013. The text was edited and modified by me.

Dr. Susan Lynch (USA) discussed how the human microbiome interacts with the immune response.

Host genetics, environment, and immune response all shape the microbiome. We house more than 1 trillion bacteria. 90% of our cellular composition is microbial, and only 10% human.There are distinct microbial distributions of organisms in different organs.

Depletion of microbial diversity is a hallmark of chronic inflammatory disease.


C-section results in a different pattern of microbiome composition than vaginal birth. Infants are born sterile, and inoculated by vaginal tract or skin of mother at birth.

Does purposely inoculating babies with probiotic supplementation influence microbiome composition and function?

Lactobacillus GG high relative abundance is associated with microbial composition. In animal model, LGG supplementation affords protection against airway inflammation.

Should we have different probiotic supplements for different organs, functions? Prenatal and postnatal exposures?

Do environmental exposures impact gut microbiome and airway allergy?

Households with dogs have microbial strains similar to human gut.

Dr. Jim Gern (USA) discussed relationships between microbiome and early childhood respiratory disease.

Interestingly, indoor allergen exposure during 1st yr is inversely related to recurrent wheeze regardless of hypersensitivity. There is a positive relationship between sensitization and recurrent wheeze, though.

Early exposure - protection? Cumulative exposure - sensitization?

Some microbes associated with atopic wheeze are also correlated with mouse and cockroach.
Dr. Maria Jenmalm (Sweden) discussed microbiome and atopic dermatitis.

There is a reduced bacteroidetes diversity in children developing allergic disease. There is reduced seroreactivity to microbiota antigens during infancy in allergic children.

Prenatal probiotic supplementation (esp. Lactobacillus reuterii) may have a role in eczema prevention.

“C-section babies” are at higher risk for atopic diathesis (including food allergy) and hospitalization.

Prenatal exposures, including perinatal, play a role. Low bacteroidetes in “C-section babies”: Target for supplementation?

Allergists are on Twitter - follow them

Allergists increased use of Twitter by 470% between 2011 and 2012. The service is very efficient in spreading the news from the annual scientific meetings, for example, 25 allergists reached 250,000 individuals from the 2012 #AAAAI meeting (see the references here).

This summary was compiled from some of the tweets posted by the following allergists:

Sakina Bajowala, M.D ‏@allergistmommy

This is a list of the allergists who used Twitter to post updates from the 2013 #AAAAI meeting. The list is open for edit, please feel free to add your own info.

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