In humans, microbial colonisation of the intestine begins just after birth. However, development of the normal flora is a gradual process, which is initially determined by factors such as genetic aspects, the maternal-foetal interaction, place and mode of delivery, early feedings strategies, and the use of antibiotics. Current knowledge on the significance and impact of the gut microflora on the development of the gut immune system indicates that a close relationship between allergic sensitisation and the development of the intestinal microflora may occur in infancy. Intestinal micro-organisms could downregulate the allergic inflammation by counterbalancing type 2 T-helper cell responses and by enhancing allergen exclusion through an immunological response.
Keywords: Food allergy; Infancy; Microbiota.
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