Allergic disease affects 30% to 40% of the world's population, and its development is determined by the interplay between environmental and inherited factors. Air pollution, primarily consisting of diesel exhaust emissions, has increased at a similar rate to allergic disease.
Exposure to diesel exhaust may play a role in the development and progression of allergic disease, in particular allergic respiratory disease. One potential mechanism underlying the connection between air pollution and increased allergic disease incidence is DNA methylation, an epigenetic process with the capacity to integrate gene-environment interactions.
Researcher: Dr Rachel Clifford.
This research was published in Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology in May 2016: