By Joe Gorelick, MSN, FNP-C

This is very exciting information that may allow us to make early interventions that may modify to course of diseases. Analysis of tape strip samples from two-month babies predicted the likelihood of developing food allergies by age two, new research in the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology shows. Skin analysis also revealed skin barrier deficiencies, such as abnormal lipids and proteins, predictive of atopic dermatitis.

Beyond predicting food allergy and eczema, researchers are optimistic their findings can lead to treatments to prevent development of these health concerns.

“This is just the first step,” said Dr. Leung. “We now have a biomarker for atopic dermatitis and food allergy – the abnormality is abnormal lipids, microbes and proteins. We are now testing newborn babies to determine whether we can prevent this abnormality. We put a lipid cream on the skin of the study participants, so it hopefully can penetrate the skin and infuse it with fatty acids. We are working to develop an anti-inflammatory cream as a result of this study.”

Researchers at National Jewish Health are currently recruiting expectant mothers and babies 0-12 weeks old for participation in the ongoing SEAL (Stop Eczema and ALlergy) study. National Jewish Health is one of four sites worldwide for the study.