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There is considerable evidence that the risk of developing allergic disease is determined in early life. An improved understanding of the development and direction of immune responses and factors, which determine pre and post-natal sensitisation versus tolerance, is critical.
Funding has been secured to recruit pregnant women whose infants are at high risk of developing allergic disease.
Cord blood samples will be obtained at birth to study the development of immune responses in the infants. The infants will also be assessed at the age of five months for the development of allergic symptoms and sensitisation. Recruitment commenced in Southampton and the Isle of Wight in July 2009. One hundred and twenty mothers will be enrolled.