We have shown that respiratory viral infections drive allergic disease through dendritic cells, whether
gastrointestinal viruses induce allergies are not known. Norovirus infections are a major cause of gastroenteritis in
humans. We used murine norovirus (MNV) to explore the effect of MNV infection on gastrointestinal conventional DCs
(cDCs) and plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs). MNV infection induced disparate effects on cDCs and pDCs in lymphoid tissues
of the small intestine and draining mesenteric lymph nodes. FcεRI was transiently expressed on lamina propria cDCs, but
not on pDCs. In addition, feeding ovalbumin during the viral infection led to a modest, brief induction of anti-ovalbumin
IgE. Together, these data suggest that like with a respiratory viral infection, an intestinal viral infection may be sufficient
to induce changes in DCs and the generation of food-specific IgE. Whether this represents a novel mechanism of food
allergy remains to be determined.
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