Immune biomarkers in the spectrum of childhood noncommunicable diseases

Chrysanthi Skevaki, Jolice Van Den Berg, Nicholas Jones, Johan Garssen, Peter Vuillermin, Michael Levin, Alan Landay, Harald Renz, Philip C. Calder, Catherine A. Thornton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


A biomarker is an accurately and reproducibly quantifiable biological characteristic that provides an objective measure of health status or disease. Benefits of biomarkers include identification of therapeutic targets, monitoring of clinical interventions, and development of personalized (or precision) medicine. Challenges to the use of biomarkers include optimizing sample collection, processing and storage, validation, and often the need for sophisticated laboratory and bioinformatics approaches. Biomarkers offer better understanding of disease processes and should benefit the early detection, treatment, and management of multiple noncommunicable diseases (NCDs). This review will consider the utility of biomarkers in patients with allergic and other immune-mediated diseases in childhood. Typically, biomarkers are used currently to provide mechanistic insight or an objective measure of disease severity, with their future role in risk stratification/disease prediction speculative at best. There are many lessons to be learned from the biomarker strategies used for cancer in which biomarkers are in routine clinical use and industry-wide standardized approaches have been developed. Biomarker discovery and validation in children with disease lag behind those in adults; given the early onset and therefore potential lifelong effect of many NCDs, there should be more studies incorporating cohorts of children. Many pediatric biomarkers are at the discovery stage, with a long path to evaluation and clinical implementation. The ultimate challenge will be optimization of prevention strategies that can be implemented in children identified as being at risk of an NCD through the use of biomarkers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1302-1316
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Biomarkers
  • blood
  • breath
  • children
  • inflammation
  • mass spectrometry
  • microRNA
  • noncommunicable diseases
  • urine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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