How infection can incite sensitivity to food

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Science  07 Apr 2017:
Vol. 356, Issue 6333, pp. 29-30
DOI: 10.1126/science.aan1500

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Immune tolerance to dietary antigens is key to preventing undesirable responses to innocuous antigens ingested with food. On page 44 of this issue, Bouziat et al. (1) report how viral infection may break oral tolerance to dietary proteins. The findings provide an explanation for the known epidemiological association between viral infections and the onset of food sensitivities, such as celiac disease. The results are of great interest considering the recent increase in prevalence of food allergies and autoimmune disorders, which suggests an unknown environmental risk modifier.