A common virus can trigger life-long allergy to gluten: study

A common virus can trigger life-long allergy to gluten: study

A new study has revealed that a symptom-free common virus in infancy can set the stage for a life-long allergy to gluten, leading to celiac disease, which affects millions of people in the United States.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder which occurs when the body has an inappropriate immune response, like an allergy, to the protein gluten. This gluten is found in barley, wheat and rye.

In the new study, which was conducted on lab mice, researchers found that intestinal bugs known as reoviruses makes the body’s immune system to overreact to gluten, which is already hard to digest.

Senior study author Bana Jabri, of the University of Chicago’s Celiac Disease Center, said, “This study clearly shows that a virus that is not clinically symptomatic can still do bad things to the immune system and set the stage for an autoimmune disorder, and for celiac disease in particular.”

The celiac disease causes significant damages to the lining of the small intestine, and currently has no cure. It can be treated only by assuming a gluten-free diet.

Findings of the new study published in the most recent edition of the widely-acclaimed journal Science.