Current Research Projects

Melina Study : Microbiome and immune profiling in infants with non IgE mediated cow's milk protein allergy

Cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is one of the most common food allerges in infancy. Unlike IgE-mediated CMPA, non-IgE-mediated CMPA is characteristed mainly by delayed gastrointestinal symptoms.   Though non-IgE-mediated CMPA is relatively easily managed with elimination of cow's milk protein, it remains under-recognised and frequently misdiagnosed due to similarities with other infancy illnesses and lack of diagnostic tests.

Using a non-invasive method, the aim of the Melina study is to identify new protein markers as well as to profile the bacterial released in stools of infants during the inflammatory process of non-IgE-mediated CMPA (acute and recovery phase).

The study group will include babies who are born at term by uncomplicated birth and diagnosed with mild, moderate and severe non IgE mediated CMPA in the first trimester of life. The control groups will consiste of babies either health or with IgE-mediated CMPA or with non-allergic gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions (NAGIC).  All groups will be matched for age, gender, type of feeding and mode of delivery.

Stool, urine and blood samples (the latter only if already taken during the hospital admission in severe cases) will be collected at the acute and the recovery phases of this condition while the patient receives an appropriate dairy free diet (dairy free breast milk or hypoallergenic formula milk).

Protein markers, bacteria and their products will be measured in stool, urine and blood samples.  These measurements will be carried out at the University of Glasgow, Section of Human Nutrition labs at the New Lister Building, Glasgow Royal Infirmary and other University of Glasogw research labs as required.

The ultimate aim is to explore the potential role of these protein markers and bacterial in stool and assess their use as non-invasive diagnostic tests for non-IgE-mediated CMPA.