Intestinal mucus barrier: a missing piece of the puzzle in food allergy.
- Eco-Immunology and Microbiome
- Molecular and Translational Allergology
- Allergy and Clinical Immunology
The prevalence of food allergies has reached epidemic levels but the cause remains largely unknown. We discuss the clinical relevance of the gut mucosal barrier as a site for allergic sensitization to food. In this context, we focus on an important but overlooked part of the mucosal barrier in pathogenesis, the glycoprotein-rich mucus layer, and call attention to both beneficial and detrimental aspects of mucus-gut microbiome interactions. Studying the intricate links between the mucus barrier, the associated bacteria, and the mucosal immune system may advance our understanding of the mechanisms and inform prevention and treatment strategies in food allergy.