Effect van microbiële diversiteit van de huid op sensitizatie tegen allergenen via de huid

01-01-2019 → 31-12-2019
Fonds voor Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek - Vlaanderen (FWO)
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Respiratory medicine
    • Respiratory medicine
    • Respiratory medicine

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways, which is increasingly seen in developed
countries. The disease is driven by an exaggerated inflammatory response to inhaled allergens such
as house dust mite (HDM), pollen and animal dander. Asthma can be caused by allergic sensitization
to HDM via the lungs but we have recently shown that sensitization to HDM can also occur via the
skin. Both sensitization routes result in the most prevalent type of asthma, characterized by
eosinophilic airway inflammation. The incidence of allergic asthma has tremendously increased
since World War II, a phenomenon that is regularly associated with a more hygienic lifestyle,
decreased infection rates and the use of antibiotics. Indeed, studies report that increased
environmental microbiome diversity, which is for instance instigated by growing up on farms,
protects humans from asthma. We hypothesize that an increased microbial diversity on the skin
could affect sensitization to allergens via the skin and the subsequent development of asthma. For
this project, we will have access to skin microbiome samples from the Yanomami people, who live in
remote areas of the Brazilian rainforest and harbour the most diverse microbiome ever reported. By
comparing germ-free mice that are either colonized with a diverse microbiome of Yanomami skin or
colonized with the microbiome of Western skin, we want to investigate how skin microbiome
diversity affects epicutaneous sensitization to allergens.