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Umbilical Cord Blood Tests May Predict 'Life-Threatening' Allergies

Update Date: Jan 19, 2016 04:24 PM EST
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One method to predict babies' allergies is by analyzing the blood in their umbilical cords, reports the Daily Mail. There is an immune signature in the umbilical cord blood that is a great indication.

Sometimes, an overactive immune system might make a baby develop "a mild to severely life-threatening allergic reaction" to items such as nuts, eggs and milk, according to researchers with the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research  in Australia.

'We found a link between children who had hyperactive immune cells at birth and the development of allergies to milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat and other common foods in their first years of life," said professor Len Harrison, an affiliate of the institute.

Other members of the research included Harrison's colleague and study author, Yuxia Zhang.

"In at-risk babies, immune cells called monocytes were activated before or during birth," she said. "Signals from these cells encouraged the development of immune responses by specialized immune cells called T cells that were predisposed to cause allergic reactions to some foods."

The study was published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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