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The University of Southampton
Inducing Tolerance in Allergy

Allergy in early life

Allergy is a chronic disease, affecting health and making life very difficult for the patients and their families. Allergy often develops in early life, and is very common - studies conducted among GP practices have revealed that almost 40 per cent of British children were diagnosed with some form of allergy. The allergy can affect breathing (e.g. asthma, hayfever), make the skin itchy and sore (e.g. eczema), or cause stomach upset after eating certain foods such as egg or dairy (food allergy).

Additionally, it has been observed, that patients with atopy often develop a sequence of progressing atopic manifestations, including eczema, food allergy, allergic rhinitis, and asthma (sometimes called “an atopic march”) (Spergel and Paller, 2003). The skin eczema often represents the beginning of the atopic march.

It is not known why some children develop allergy, and some don’t. Partly the allergy can be inherited from the parents, but the reaction to environmental triggers is also very important.

To be able to understand how allergy develops in early life, we are recruiting children undergoing a surgical procedure, who would be happy to donate a very small fragment of the skin that is removed during that operation. We are recruiting healthy children as well as children with allergy.



Johansson SG, Bieber T, Dahl R, Friedmann PS, Lanier BQ, Lockey RF, et al. (2004) Revised nomenclature for allergy for global use: Report of the Nomenclature Review Committee of the World Allergy Organization, October 2003. The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology 113:832-6.

Bantz et al (2014) The Atopic March: Progression from Atopic Dermatitis to Allergic Rhinitis and Asthma. The Journal of clinical cell immunology 5(2):202.

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