Food allergies have become more prevalent in recent years and now affect more than 11 million US individuals. Study of how such allergies develop has been hindered by the lack of an animal model with many of the key features of human food allergies. Now, scientists from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill, have developed a promising mouse model for peanut allergies, and studies in this mouse model suggest that exposure to certain bacteria may make individuals more prone to developing allergic reactions to food (Ganeshan K et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2009;123:231-238).
Kuehn BM. Peanut Allergy. JAMA. 2009;301(9):924. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.242