Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Sixteen New Genetic Regions for Allergies Discovered

Published: Monday, July 01, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, July 01, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Regions discovered during two of the largest genetic studies ever conducted on common allergies, including pollen, dust-mite and cat allergies.

Together they are responsible for at least 25 per cent of allergy in the population. Eight of the genetic variations have previously been associated with asthma. The discoveries, published today in Nature Genetics, are a major step towards understanding the biological basis of common allergies.

Allergies are very common. According to Allergy UK, around 21 million adults in the UK suffer from at least one allergy. The numbers are increasing every year and, in the UK, it is estimated that 50 per cent of all children are diagnosed with an allergic condition.

The first study, undertaken by the Early Genetics and Lifecourse Epidemiology research cohort (EAGLE), which includes Children of the 90s (ALSPAC) at the University of Bristol, involved almost 32,000 individuals from 16 studies worldwide.

The EAGLE study was conducted in two stages. The first compared 5,809 allergy sufferers with 9,875 non-allergy sufferers (controls). Allergy was assessed objectively by measuring allergen levels in blood or by a skin-prick test. The second phase replicated the study in 6,145 independent allergy sufferers and 10,137 controls.

Ten of the genetic locations were associated with self-reported allergy symptoms in an independent companion study of 53,000 individuals conducted by 23andMe, the American personal genetics company, and Children of the 90s.

Professor John Henderson from Children of the 90s, who was involved in the EAGLE study, said: "Allergy is an important component of many diseases, including asthma, eczema and hay fever, which together account for a huge burden on patients and the health services. This is a very exciting time for allergy research. Genetic discoveries have identified specific pathways of allergy development that are not shared with allergic diseases like asthma. Understanding these pathways could lead to eventual development of drugs that cure or prevent allergy rather than just suppressing its symptoms."

Dr David Hinds, 23andMe principal scientist who was involved in the 23andMe study said: "We’ve seen some substantial increases in prevalence of allergies and asthma. Although environmental factors certainly play a role, our study reinforces the genetic link between common allergens and a person’s susceptibility to experiencing an allergic reaction.

"Additionally, current estimates of the heritability of allergies are high, which suggests that understanding the genetic factors underlying allergic conditions may be key to understanding who might be most likely to suffer from allergies and how the condition might best be treated."

Dr Nic Timpson from Children of the 90s, who was involved in both studies, added: "One of the key features of this work is the demonstration that with a suitably sized study, the analysis of medically relevant questionnaire data alongside genetic variation has the potential to yield important information concerning the underlying biology of a complex outcome.

"Indeed, through a collaborative interaction with colleagues from EAGLE where specific tests of allergic sensitization were available, we were able to independently replicate many of the findings made here."

Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,200+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Manipulation of Protein Could Help Stop Spread of Cancer Cells
New findings, published in the Nature journal Oncogene, reveal how a protein, PRH, is normally able to prevent cells from unnecessary migration.
Monday, November 18, 2013
Random Walks on DNA
Scientists have revealed how a bacterial enzyme has evolved an energy-efficient method to move long distances along DNA.
Monday, April 22, 2013
Scientific News
Unravelling the Role of Key Genes and DNA Methylation in Blood Cell Malignancies
Researchers from the University of Nebraska Medical Center have demonstrated the role of Dnmt3a in safeguarding normal haematopoiesis.
Genes Help Track Odd Migrations of Zika Mosquitoes
Study shows that mosquitoes carrying Zika virus or Dengue fever a genetically distinct around the world.
Editing Gene Mutations in Anemia
Researchers successfully use a new gene editing strategy to correct mutations that cause a form of anemia.
Lab-on-a-Chip to Help Detect Cancer
In this podcast, we speak to Gustavo Stolovitsky to learn about his career and the work he is doing at IBM Research.
Rare Immunodeficiency Yields Unexpected Insights
Scientists uncover previously unknown gene mutation revealing the role of a key molecule involved in immune cell development.
Driving Mosquito Evolution to Fight Malaria
Researchers propose insect repellent in conjunction with insecticides to extend current insecticide lifetime.
Tumor Markers Reveal Lethality Of Bladder Cancers
Researchers found that detection of certain tumor cells in early stage cancers helps identify high-risk cancers.
Gene Editing Corrects Sickle Cell Mutation
Researchers demonstrate a potential pathway to developing gene-editing treatments for sickle cell disease.
ALS Study Reveals Role of RNA-Binding Proteins
The findings are a significant step forward in validating RNA-based therapy as a treatment for ALS.
Observing Direct Inheritance of Gene-Silencing RNA
Research has allowed for the observation of double-stranded RNA molecule being passed from parent to offspring in roundworms.
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,200+ scientific videos