Genetically modified plants and food hypersensitivity diseases: Usage and implications of experimental models for risk assessment

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid


The recent advances in biotechnology in the plant industry have led to increasing crop production and yield that in turn has increased the usage of genetically modified (GM) food in the human food chain. The usage of GM foods for human consumption has raised a number of fundamental questions including the ability of GM foods to elicit potentially harmful immunological responses, including allergic hypersensitivity. To assess the safety of foods derived from GM plants including allergenic potential, the US FDA, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)/World Health Organization (WHO), and the EU have developed approaches for evaluation assessment. One assessment approach that has been a very active area of research and debate is the development and usage of animal models to assess the potential allergenicity of GM foods. A number of specific animal models employing rodents, pigs, and dogs have been developed for allergenicity assessment. However, validation of these models is needed and consideration of the criteria for an appropriate animal model for the assessment of allergenicity in GM plants is required. We have recently employed a BALB/c mouse model to assess the potential allergenicity of GM plants. We have been able to demonstrate that this model is able to detect differences in antigenicity and identify aspects of protein post-translational modifications that can alter antigenicity. Furthermore, this model has also enabled us to examine the usage of GM plants as a therapeutic approach for the treatment of allergic diseases. This review discusses the current approaches to assess the allergenic potential of GM food and particularly focusing on the usage of animal models to determine the potential allergenicity of GM foods and gives an overview of our recent findings and implications of these studies.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles