Allergic Diseases: What Progress Are We Making towards Prevention in Early Life?
Allergic diseases such as asthma, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis, are now among the commonest disorders affecting Western populations. The dramatic increase in allergic sensitisation over the last 20-30 years, indicates that this propensity is present in many individuals given the right conditions. Growing evidence suggests events in very early life, even before birth, may play an important role. There is a relatively urgent need to identify these factors and design preventive strategies in early life before allergic immune responses are established.