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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BHNRC) » Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center » Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory » Research » Research Project #418612


Location: Diet, Genomics and Immunology Laboratory

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
ARS is interested in determining the impact of health-promoting components in foods including those containing probiotic bacteria, and how allergens and infections alter intestinal immunity and physiology. Our project plan has two objectives that directly relate to this agreement: Objective 2: To elucidate the mechanisms used by probiotic bacteria to improve respiratory and intestinal mucosal responses to allergens, and correlate intestinal microflora composition of pigs and humans with biomarkers of allergic and intestinal disease, and Objective 3: To elucidate the mechanisms by which micronutrients affect gut physiology and immune competence in response to food-borne illness due to viruses, bacteria, and gastrointestinal parasites. The COOPERATOR directs a laboratory that has supported ARS activities to evaluate mucosal responses to pathogens and allergens. A formal agreement to expand the interaction can facilitate the objectives of the project and support from external funds.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Experimental mouse and swine models of viral, bacterial, and parasitic infection as well as exposure to allergens will be evaluated for changes in immune and physiological responses at mucosal surfaces. This information will be used by both ARS and the COOPERATOR to jointly develop new research studies that focus on the evaluation of dietary and probiotic intervention to prevent the onset of inflammation and dysfunction, and enhance healthy mucosal surfaces.

3. Progress Report
A range of studies in both mice and pigs have been completed to show the effect of diet or nematode infection on physiological and immunological changes in the intestine following treatment. The nematode studies are a prototype for an allergic response to infection. This model is now being applied to changes in the microbiome resulting from treatment effects. This agreement was monitored through email, visits, and telephone communication.

4. Accomplishments