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The intrauterine and postnatal environments
Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences. Linköping University, Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Pediatrics . Östergötlands Läns Landsting, Centre of Paediatrics and Gynecology and Obstetrics, Department of Paediatrics in Linköping.
1999 (English)In: Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, ISSN 0091-6749, Vol. 104, no 6, 1119-1127 p.Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Pregnancy is associated with a strong skewing toward T(H)2 cytokine pattern, which enables the survival of the fetus, including fetal allergen-specific immune responses, The postnatal maturation of the immune system which is characterized by the development of a balanced T(H)1/T(H)2 immunity is genetically determined and modified by the environment. The process seems to proceed at a slower rate in atopic than in nonatopic infants. There is a close immunologic interaction between the mother and her offspring through the breast milk. Individual variations in the composition of human milk may el,plain the controversy with regard to the possible allergy-preventive effects of breast-feeding. Recurrent respiratory infections have been suggested to enhance immune deviation. The microbial flora are a more likely source, however, because they are a major driving force in the maturation of the immune system. Changes in its composition, as a consequence of an altered lifestyle and diet, may play a role in the higher prevalence of allergy. So far, primary prevention of allergy has failed. Future studies should therefore focus on factors enhancing immune deviation (ie, "success" factors) rather than on "risk" factors. The intestinal microflora is one of these factors that deserves closer analysis.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
1999. Vol. 104, no 6, 1119-1127 p.
Keyword [en]
allergy, immunology, maturation, gestation, infants
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-49938OAI: diva2:270834
Available from: 2009-10-11 Created: 2009-10-11 Last updated: 2011-01-14

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Björkstén, Bengt
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Faculty of Health SciencesPediatrics Department of Paediatrics in Linköping
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