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No Adjuvant Effect of Bacillus thuringiensis-Maize on Allergic Responses in Mice

PLoS ONE 9(8): e103979. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0103979
Reiner D, Lee R-Y, Dekan G, Epstein MM
Genetically modified (GM) foods are evaluated carefully for their ability to induce allergic disease. However, few studies have tested the capacity of a GM food to act as an adjuvant, i.e. influencing allergic responses to other unrelated allergens at acute onset and in individuals with pre-existing allergy. We sought to evaluate the effect of short-term feeding of GM Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt)-maize (MON810) on the initiation and relapse of allergic asthma in mice. BALB/c mice were provided a diet containing 33% GM or non-GM maize for up to 34 days either before ovalbumin (OVA)-induced experimental allergic asthma or disease relapse in mice with pre-existing allergy. We observed that GM-maize feeding did not affect OVA-induced eosinophilic airway and lung inflammation, mucus hypersecretion or OVA-specific antibody production at initiation or relapse of allergic asthma. There was no adjuvant effect upon GM-maize consumption on the onset or severity of allergic responses in a mouse model of allergic asthma.