April 2010 - Volume 3 - Issue 4 - pp 162-166
It is increasingly unlikely that allergic disease is the result of isolated immune defects, but rather the result of altered gene activation patterns in intricate immune networks. This appears to be driven by complex environmental changes, including microbial exposure, diet, and pollutants, which are known to modify immune development in early life, beginning in pregnancy. The first models showing possible epigenetic mechanisms for these effects are beginning to emerge.
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