Microbiota and cow's milk tolerance

Project Details


Cow’s milk allergy is a health problem of growing concern for which reason efficient strategies for the prevention is urgently needed. In recent years it has been demonstrated that the gut microbiota composition influences the development of allergy. However, our knowledge about how the microbiota composition influences the sensitising or tolerance inducing capacities of the food is only scarcely described. The objectives of this project are: (1) to increase our knowledge about the interplay between food proteins and the gut microbiota, and how this interplay impact on induction of cow’s milk allergy versus tolerance, and (2) in a broader perspective to gain knowledge about mechanisms influenced by microbiota, which drives the immune system towards allergy or tolerance.
Intact whey, which is one fraction of cow’s milk often used for infant formula, and enzymatic hydrolysed products hereof, used for hypoallergic infant formulas, will used as model protein ingredients. The interplay between whey-based ingredients and the gut microbiota will be investigated in in vitro fermentation studies based on faecal samples from food allergic and healthy infants, as well as in animal studies in which the gut microbiota is manipulated by antibiotics treatment. Microbial composition will be analysed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing in combination with quantitative real-time PCR. The allergy or tolerance inducing capacity of the different whey-based ingredients and the influence of the gut microbiota composition will be analysed by evaluating different serological and cell based end-points. Appropriate functional in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo assays will be applied to investigate the mechanism by which the gut microbiota and metabolites hereof impact on directing the immune system towards allergy or tolerance.
Effective start/end date01/01/201631/12/2019


  • Milk allergy, tolerance, infant formulas, gut microbiota