The SunBEAm birth cohort: Protocol design

Corinne Keet, Scott H. Sicherer, Supinda Bunyavanich, Cynthia Visness, Patricia C. Fulkerson, Alkis Togias, Wendy Davidson, Susan Perry, Sanaz Hamrah, Agustin Calatroni, Katina Robinson, Lars Dunaway, Carla M. Davis, Sara Anvari, Susan M. Leong-Kee, Gurjit Khurana Hershey, Emily DeFranco, Ashley Devonshire, Haejin Kim, Christine JosephBrent Davidson, Noel K. Strong, Angela J. Tsuang, Marion Groetch, Julie Wang, Jennifer Dantzer, Kim Mudd, Abimbola Aina, Wayne Shreffler, Qian Yuan, Virginia Simmons, Donald Y.M. Leung, Jessica Hui-Beckman, Jania Arcia Ramos, Sharon Chinthrajah, Virginia Winn, Tina Sindher, Stacie M. Jones, Nirvana A. Manning, Amy M. Scurlock, Edwin Kim, Alison Stuebe, James E. Gern, Anne Marie Singh, Jennifer Krupp, Robert A. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Food allergy (FA) and atopic dermatitis (AD) are common conditions that often present in the first year of life. Identification of underlying mechanisms and environmental determinants of FA and AD is essential to develop and implement effective prevention and treatment strategies. Objectives: We sought to describe the design of the Systems Biology of Early Atopy (SunBEAm) birth cohort. Methods: Funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and administered through the Consortium for Food Allergy Research (CoFAR), SunBEAm is a US population-based, multicenter birth cohort that enrolls pregnant mothers, fathers, and their newborns and follows them to 3 years. Questionnaire and biosampling strategies were developed to apply a systems biology approach to identify environmental, immunologic, and multiomic determinants of AD, FA, and other allergic outcomes. Results: Enrollment is currently underway. On the basis of an estimated FA prevalence of 6%, the enrollment goal is 2500 infants. AD is defined on the basis of questionnaire and assessment, and FA is defined by an algorithm combining history and testing. Although any FA will be recorded, we focus on the diagnosis of egg, milk, and peanut at 5 months, adding wheat, soy, cashew, hazelnut, walnut, codfish, shrimp, and sesame starting at 12 months. Sampling includes blood, hair, stool, dust, water, tape strips, skin swabs, nasal secretions, nasal swabs, saliva, urine, functional aspects of the skin, and maternal breast milk and vaginal swabs. Conclusions: The SunBEAm birth cohort will provide a rich repository of data and specimens to interrogate mechanisms and determinants of early allergic outcomes, with an emphasis on FA, AD, and systems biology.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100124
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: Global
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 2023


  • Food allergy
  • atopic dermatitis
  • birth cohort
  • eczema
  • multiomics
  • omics
  • systems biology


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