A study to identify prenatal and early childhood markers of high risk for food allergy and atopic dermatitis, or eczema, as well as biological pathways that lead to these conditions, has begun. The observational study of children from birth to age 3 years will examine the origins of allergic disease by integrating interdisciplinary analyses of data from more than 260 biological and environmental samples and survey responses from each of 2,500 families. Called Systems Biology of Early Atopy, or SUNBEAM, the study is sponsored and funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.
“Millions of children worldwide suffer from eczema and food allergy—diseases that significantly affect their quality of life,” said NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “Currently, there is no reliable way to identify those infants destined to develop eczema or food allergy who would benefit from targeted prevention strategies. Identifying early-life markers of children at risk through the SUNBEAM study could help focus the implementation of current prevention strategies and facilitate the discovery of new ones.” Read more