Genetic determinants of paediatric food allergy: A systematic review

Noor H.A. Suaini, Yichao Wang, Victoria X. Soriano, David J. Martino, Katrina J. Allen, Justine A. Ellis, Jennifer J. Koplin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The genetic determinants of food allergy have not been systematically reviewed. We therefore systematically reviewed the literature on the genetic basis of food allergy, identifying areas for further investigation. Methods: We searched three electronic databases (MEDLINE, EMBASE and PubMed) on 9 January 2018. Two authors screened retrieved articles for review according to inclusion criteria and extracted relevant information on study characteristics and measures of association. Eligible studies included those that reported an unaffected nonatopic control group, had genetic information and were carried out in children. Results: Of the 2088 studies retrieved, 32 met our inclusion criteria. Five were genome-wide association studies, and the remaining were candidate gene studies. Twenty-two of the studies were carried out in a predominantly Caucasian population with the remaining 10 from Asian-specific populations or unspecified ethnicity. We found FLG, HLA, IL10, IL13, as well as some evidence for other variants (SPINK5, SERPINB and C11orf30) that are associated with food allergy. Conclusions: Little genetic research has been carried out in food allergy, with FLG, HLA and IL13 being the most reproducible genes for an association with food allergy. Despite promising results, existing genetic studies on food allergy are inundated with issues such as inadequate sample size and absence of multiple testing correction. Few included replication analyses or population stratification measures. Studies addressing these limitations along with functional studies are therefore needed to unravel the mechanisms of action of the identified genes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1631-1648
Number of pages18
JournalAllergy: European Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number9
Early online date5 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2019


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