Food allergies (FA) are a public health problem that are increasing around the world. Among the FAs, cow's milk protein allergy (CMPA) is one of the most common, affecting mainly children under 4 years. Studies suggest that proteolytic lactic acid bacteria (LAB) may be a promising alternative for reducing the antigenicity of allergenic proteins present in milk. However, the literature lacks studies on the molecular mechanisms involved in the proteolytic process. This postdoctoral project intends to characterize the genome of proteolytic LAB strains obtained in previous studies in the Laboratory of Food Microbiology of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences (FCF) of the University of São Paulo, in order to know the metabolic pathways involved in the degradation of the main milk proteins that cause CMPA. The strains that present CMPA-related genotype and phenotype will be used for cheese production, evaluating the expression of genes related to proteolytic activity during production and maturation, through transcriptomic analysis. Reduction of protein allergenicity will be assessed by appropriate immunochemical testing. The safety of strains for use in foods will also be evaluated by screening for virulence genes related to the strain species. This project is supported by the Food Research Center (FoRC / RIDC / FAPESP) and intends to continue the partnership with researchers from the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA-Nantes, France) in the study of LAB with beneficial properties for health.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: