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Factors Determining Development of Allergy in Infants

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For an infant to develop allergy (atopy), three main factors seem to be needed: genetic predisposition, allergen exposure, and contributory factors. The role of genetics seems to be mainly in transmitting a general atopic constitution and controlling the general IgE response. Together with environmental exposure, genetics possibly plays a role in determining the allergic shock organ and the specific offending allergen. Of the vast number of environmental allergens, food by far seems to be the major one in infancy, followed by indoor allergens then outdoor aeroallergens. Several intrinsic and extrinsic contributory factors can enhance the development of allergy, perpetuate its chronicity, or facilitate precipitation of symptoms. These factors can be immunologic defects, gastrointestinal diseases, infections, or nonspecific irritants such as tobacco smoke inhalation. Understanding all these factors is essential in formulating any program for allergy prevention in infants.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 1992-01-01

More about this publication?
  • Allergy and Asthma Proceedings is a peer reviewed publication dedicated to distributing timely scientific research regarding advancements in the knowledge and practice of allergy, asthma and immunology. Its primary readership consists of allergists and pulmonologists.

    The goal of the Proceedings is to publish articles with a predominantly clinical focus which directly impact quality of care for patients with allergic disease and asthma.

    Featured topics include asthma, rhinitis, sinusitis, food allergies, allergic skin diseases, diagnostic techniques, allergens, and treatment modalities. Published material includes peer-reviewed original research, clinical trials and review articles.

    Articles marked "F" offer free full text for personal noncommercial use only.

    The journal is indexed in Thomson Reuters Web of Science and Science Citation Index Expanded, plus the National Library of Medicine's PubMed service.
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