Mapping Exposure-Induced Immune Effects: Connecting the Exposome and the Immunome
The term exposome was first defined by Wild (2005) “At its most complete, the exposome encompasses life-course environmental exposures (including lifestyle factors), from the prenatal period onwards.” It thus includes all the environmental exposures that we experience throughout our life: diets, lifestyles, stress, pollution, and the many elements naturally present in the surrounding environment.
The immunome is the immune system of an individual. It includes all immune cells and tissues as well as the signals released by these cells or tissues. In mapping the immunome both the individual function and phenotype is assessed.
Immune-mediated, non-communicable diseases, such as autoimmune diseases, allergic diseases and asthma, are chronic disorders in which the immune system plays a pivotal role. The World Heath Organisation (WHO) has highlighted the seriousness of autoimmunity and its association with exposure to the environment, but research on the underlying causes, mechanisms and prevention of these disorders remains an urgent need.
EXIMIOUS aims to deliver a new way of assessing the human exposome, i.e. the exposures to environmental factors that one experiences throughout life, and shed light on its association to immune-mediated diseases.