Atopic dermatitis (AD) affects up to 20% of children world-wide and is an increasing public health problem particularly in developed countries. Although AD in infants and young children can resolve, there is a well-recognized, increased risk of sequential progression from AD to other atopic diseases including food allergy, allergic rhinitis, allergic asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis; a process referred to as the "atopic march". The mechanisms underlying the development of AD and subsequent progression to other atopic comorbidities, particularly food allergy, are incompletely understood and the subject of intense investigation. Other major research objectives are the development of effective strategies to prevent AD and food allergy as well as therapeutic interventions to inhibit the atopic march. In 2017, the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases sponsored a workshop to discuss current understanding and important advances in these research areas and to identify gaps in knowledge and future research directions. International and national experts in the field were joined by representatives from several National Institutes of Health institutes. Summaries of workshop presentations, key conclusions and recommendations are presented herein.
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