Completion of the human genome project and rapid progress in genetics and bioinformatics have enabled the development of large public databases, which include genetic and genomic data linked to clinical health data. With the massive amount of information available, clinicians and researchers have the unique opportunity to complement and integrate their daily practice with the existing resources to clarify the underlying cause of complex phenotypes, such as allergic diseases. The genome itself is now often used as a starting point for many studies, and multiple innovative approaches have emerged applying genetic/genomic strategies to key questions in the field of allergy and immunology. There have been several successes that have uncovered new insights into the biologic underpinnings of allergic disorders. Herein we will provide an in-depth review of genomic approaches to identifying genes and biologic networks involved in allergic diseases. We will discuss genetic and phenotypic variation, statistical approaches for gene discovery, public databases, functional genomics, clinical implications, and the challenges that remain.
Copyright (c) 2010 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.