Exposure to Allergens During Development

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the influence of allergen exposure during development. Exposure to allergen can occur during fetal, neonatal, and juvenile years, which are critical times for immunological and structural development of the lung. Exposure of the fetus to allergens inhaled by the mother during pregnancy can result in its sensitization to those allergens. The interaction of environment and genetic background during in utero life of a human infant may determine the future allergic status of the child and adult. The exposures that occur in the first months of life are very likely crucial to phenotypic development of the child and subsequently the adult. Thus, exposures to allergens, such as pollens, may facilitate future development of allergic disease, especially in the atopy prone genotype. However, exposure to certain other antigens during this critical time of development can influence or modulate the immune response. Several infectious diseases are thought to have a role in either facilitating development of allergic sensitization to inhaled allergen during the neonatal period or subverting the allergic response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Lung: Development, Aging and The Environment
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages9
ISBN (Print)9780080481357, 9780123247513
StatePublished - Dec 3 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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