Modern European living conditions are creating a cascade of events that lead to increase in allergies. The changes in food processing, food intake, mucosal permeability and immune reactivity to allergens need to be understood in depth before appropriate interventions are possible. This process may be facilitated with a more global view of food allergies is taken. This, because, allergic disorders have been increasing in prevalence particularly in western countries. <P>If we are to understand why allergies are increasing, we need to study regions that are in transition; with lifestyles that represent Europe one hundred years ago and moving towards lifestyles that resemble modern Europe. By understanding the causes and mechanisms that underlie the apparent tolerance for allergens in some geographical areas where prevalences of allergies are low, one can make knowledge based plans to combat allergic disorders in Europe. However, most studies thus far have been examining inhalant allergies and now food allergies need to be adressed in particular. <P>The estimates of food allergies are considered to be imprecise and much pan-European efforts are being put into applying standardised diagnostic methods to get accurate measures. It is important to plan ahead and aim to build up strong teams that are able to do research in the area of food allergy in regions where allergies are less common. There are currently no medical or paramedical staff with a good perception/knowledge of food allergy.<P> The present proposal aims to bring together a group of European experts in the area of food allergy who will train a number of medical doctors, nurses and scientists from African and Asian centers by organising workshops and laboratory based courses. With the view to the future this will stimulate International Cooperation, will disseminate knowledge and will allow Europe to build robust databases that can be utilised to understand the processes that lead to increasing allergies.
For more information about this project, please visit the <a href="http://ec.europa.eu/research/biosociety/food_quality/projects/087_en.ht…; target="_blank">European Commission Food Quality and Safety in Europe</a> Web site.