Understanding Immune Signature of Foods in Eosinophilic Esophagitis

Principal Investigator: Joshua Wechsler, MD
In Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE), a variety of foods trigger inflammation in the esophagus.  Diet elimination remains a mainstay treatment approach, with the number and type of food triggers varying between patients. Some respond well to eliminating a single food while others require the removal of multiple foods. Although no biomarkers or testing currently exist to help pinpoint specific triggers, previous studies have found a key role for white blood cells known as T-cells. This study will assess the novel association between individual food triggers and T-cell clonality. Dr. Wechsler and his team intend to examine esophageal biopsies for evidence of the specificity of immune response of white blood cells to specific foods. The researchers will use deep sequencing of the T-lymphocyte receptor to identify how frequently unique types of T-cells appear. The team hopes this data will help explain how the immune system “learns” to respond to specific foods and, ultimately, provide a potential screen.