December 1, 2015 1 minute

Isohelix collaborate with St Thomas’s Hospital to explore causative factors of Atopic Eczema and food allergy in infants

Carsten Flohr and his research group at St Thomas’s hospital, London are currently investigating the interaction between skin and gut microbiota in relation to the associated risk of atopic eczema (AE) and food allergy in infants. AE development depends on host genetic and environmental factors, the focus of this study is to decipher their interplay and contribution to disease development.

St Thomas’s hospital researchers are integrating a detailed assessment of the bacterial species in infant skin and gut, and have prospectively collected environmental exposure data, specialist diagnosed AE, filaggrin mutation information and skin barrier assessment as well as gold standard double-blind placebo controlled food challenges on the same cohort of children. This will give an unprecedented insight into AE and its drivers.

Isohelix are providing technical support to this study by carrying out DNA isolations. Isohelix’s rapid DNA isolation expertise used on infant samples is resulting in high purity DNA, a prerequisite for obtaining high quality results in next generation sequencing (NGS) technology. NGS technology is being employed to characterize both skin and gut bacteria communities at 3, 5 and 12 months of age with regard to species diversity. Results will be nested within the EAT (Enquiring About Tolerance) Study (, a trial investigating the development of early onset AE and food allergy.