Lecture: The Allergic Planet

The Allergic Planet
Start Date
End Date
Dublin Institute of Technology, (DIT), Cathal Brugha St., Dublin 1

Part of the Institute of Biology Ireland (IBIOLI) Lecture Series 2018, DIT lecturer, Dr Orla Cahill, will give a talk on 'The Allergic Planet', exploring the rise in allergens in today's world.

About the Lecture:

Dr Cahill will tell us that the global increase in allergic diseases is continuing to rise on an annual basis. Allergic reactions may be mild, moderate or, in severe cases, can be fatal due to anaphylaxis. Food allergy cases have risen by as much as 50% in the past decade with a 700% rise in hospitalisations due to anaphylaxis.

Globally, more than 250 million people suffer from a food allergy with more than 17 million people suffering from food allergies in Europe alone. Food allergy cases have risen by up to 50% in the past decade, with a 700% rise in hospitalisations due to anaphylaxis.

It is estimated that 0.1–3.2% of adults and 0.1–5.7% of children have a food allergy. The world allergy organisation (WAO) suggests that over 170 foods have been associated with allergic reactions. However, in the EU there are 14 major food allergens legislated for, of which peanut, egg and tree nut tend to be the most prevalent. IgE mediated food allergies are quick in the onset of symptoms with some immediate from 1-20 minutes or within one to two hours after food ingestion or exposure. It is not only food allergy statistics that have increased dramatically.

As of 2018, 339 million people globally suffer from asthma and 400 million from allergic rhinitis. There are numerous hypotheses suggesting possible reasons for the surge in allergic diseases, some of which will be discussed at the lecture. The incidences of allergic diseases such as food allergies, asthma, allergic rhinitis and dermatitis have increased dramatically over the past decade. But why? This talk aims to explore the numerous hypotheses for the mystifying rise in allergic diseases in what some experts are calling “the allergic planet”.

About the Presenter:

Dr. Orla Cahill

Dr. Orla Cahill is a lecturer in Food Microbiology & Allergen Management at DIT, Dublin.

Her areas of research include: Development and application of novel decontamination systems for applications in the food industry; Investigation of a laser based Air sampling system for the detection of air-borne microbes in the food industry; Identification of bioactive compounds for applications in the food and pharmaceutical industry; Molecular identification of novel microbial populations; Isolation and Molecular analysis of virulence factors associated with Cronobacter sakazakii; and Rapid identification of Allergens in foods.