Intestinal mucus barrier: a missing piece of the puzzle in food allergy

Amy Parrish, Marie Boudaud (Main author), Annette Kuehn, Markus Ollert, Mahesh S. Desai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The prevalence of food allergies has reached epidemic levels but the cause remains largely unknown. We discuss the clinical relevance of the gut mucosal barrier as a site for allergic sensitization to food. In this context, we focus on an important but overlooked part of the mucosal barrier in pathogenesis, the glycoprotein-rich mucus layer, and call attention to both beneficial and detrimental aspects of mucus–gut microbiome interactions. Studying the intricate links between the mucus barrier, the associated bacteria, and the mucosal immune system may advance our understanding of the mechanisms and inform prevention and treatment strategies in food allergy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)36-50
Number of pages15
JournalTrends in Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Early online date19 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


  • allergic sensitization
  • food allergy
  • gastrointestinal mucus layer
  • gut microbiome
  • mucin-degrading bacteria
  • mucosal immune system


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