Scientists have found evidence that epithelium defects might cause or contribute to atopic eczema, asthma, allergic rhinitis and food allergies. Researchers studying Netherton syndrome, a rare skin disease, found a link between a gene mutation associated with the disease and asthma and eczema. Other research showed a link between peanut allergies and a mutation in the filaggrin gene FLG, which is found in the skin and mouth but not in the gut.

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