This study assesses how the developing skin and gut microbiota of infancy may relate to the development of eczema and food allergy during infancy. Faecal and skin samples collected from three month old babies enrolling on the Enquiring About Tolerance (EAT) Study and thereafter until one year of age are being profiled for relative abundance of bacterial taxa using 16S rRNA next generation sequencing. Understanding the role of the host microbiome and its interaction with genetic and environmental factors in the development of eczema and food allergy may facilitate the development of novel prevention and treatment strategies.
As babies grow through infancy, bacterial flourish in the gut and on their skin. Dietary and environmental factors such as antibiotic exposure and caesarean section have been associated with the development of allergic diseases such as eczema and food allergy. This study asks whether the bacterial communities growing within their gastro-intestinal system and on their skin can explain why environmental factors may predispose babies to develop eczema and food allergy.