Anne-Louise Ponsonby

Anne-Louise Ponsonby
Murdoch Children's Research Institute | MCRI · Research Group for Environmental & Genetic Epidemiology Research

About

419
Publications
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Publications

Publications (419)
Article
Full-text available
Background Lipids play a vital role in health and disease, but changes to their circulating levels and the link with obesity remain poorly characterized in expecting mothers and their offspring in early childhood. Methods LC-MS/MS-based quantitation of 480 lipid species was performed on 2491 plasma samples collected at 4 time points in the mother-...
Article
Importance: Randomized clinical trials showed that earlier peanut introduction can prevent peanut allergy in select high-risk populations. This led to changes in infant feeding guidelines in 2016 to recommend early peanut introduction for all infants to reduce the risk of peanut allergy. Objective: To measure the change in population prevalence...
Preprint
Prenatal phthalate exposure has previously been linked to the development of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). However, the underlying biological mechanisms remain unclear. We investigated whether maternal and child central carbon metabolism is involved as part of the Barwon Infant Study, a population-based birth cohort of 1074 Australian children. W...
Article
Background: Children born to larger households have less allergic disease. T regulatory cell (Treg) development may be a relevant mechanism, but this has not been studied longitudinally. Objective: We aim to (i) describe how prenatal and postnatal environmental factors are associated with Treg development and (ii) investigate whether serial Treg...
Article
Background: People with multiple sclerosis face significant employment-related challenges, with little known of the drivers of these outcomes. Objective: We examined prospective trajectories of employment-related outcomes up to 11 years following a first episode of central nervous system (CNS) demyelination (FCD). Methods: Participants were ag...
Article
Full-text available
Background The risk of adult onset cardiovascular and metabolic (cardiometabolic) disease accrues from early life. Infection is ubiquitous in infancy and induces inflammation, a key cardiometabolic risk factor, but the relationship between infection, inflammation, and metabolic profiles in early childhood remains unexplored. We investigated relatio...
Article
Background The association between mode of delivery and the risk of food allergy remains unclear due to the absence of studies with both challenge-proven food allergy outcomes and detailed information on the type of caesarean delivery. Objective We assessed whether emergency or elective caesarean, or caesarean delivery in the presence or absence o...
Article
Background Emotional and behavioral problems (EBP) are common in children. Environmental factors like socioeconomic disadvantage influence EBP pathogenesis and can trigger inflammation. However, the link between early inflammation-EBP in children is unclear. We investigated the associations between i) infant inflammatory biomarkers and subsequent E...
Preprint
Limited studies have been conducted to identify and validate multiple sclerosis (MS) genetic loci associated with disability progression. We aimed to identify MS genetic loci associated with worsening of disability over time, and to develop and validate ensemble genetic learning model(s) to identify people with MS (PwMS) at risk of future worsening...
Article
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Environmental factors can accelerate telomere length (TL) attrition. Shortened TL is linked to attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms in school-aged children. The onset of ADHD occurs as early as preschool-age, but the TL-ADHD association in younger children is unknown. We investigated associations between infant TL and ADHD sympt...
Article
Introduction: Probiotic and Peanut Oral Immunotherapy (PPOIT) is effective at inducing sustained unresponsiveness (SU) at end-of-treatment and this effect persists up to four years post-treatment, referred to as persistent SU. We sought to evaluate (i) how PPOIT altered peanut-specific humoral immune indices, and (ii) how such longitudinal indices...
Article
Full-text available
The developing brain is highly sensitive to environmental disturbances, and adverse exposures can act through oxidative stress. Given that oxidative stress susceptibility is determined partly by genetics, multiple studies have employed genetic scores to explore the role of oxidative stress in human disease. However, traditional approaches to geneti...
Article
Background: Prenatal exposure to phthalates has been associated with adverse health and neurodevelopmental outcomes. DNA methylation (DNAm) alterations may be a mechanism underlying these effects, but prior investigations of prenatal exposure to phthalates and neonatal DNAm profiles are limited to placental tissue and umbilical cord blood. Object...
Article
Full-text available
Background: There is mounting evidence that in utero and early life exposures may predispose an individual to metabolic disorders in later life; and dysregulation of lipid metabolism is critical in such outcomes. However, there is limited knowledge about lipid metabolism and factors causing lipid dysregulation in early life that could result in adv...
Article
Background Infections with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) have been implicated in multiple sclerosis (MS) onset but little work has studied their relationships in early disease. Objective Evaluate associations between markers of EBV and HHV-6 infection/reactivation and MS conversion, relapse and EDSS/MSSS amongst 205 CIS...
Article
Background: There is no standardized definition for infant eczema, and various tools have been used across studies, precluding direct comparison. Objective: The aim of the study was to assess and to compare the accuracy of diagnostic tools for infant eczema using the extensive data collected in Melbourne Infant Study: BCG for Allergy and Infecti...
Article
Full-text available
Early childhood is characterised by repeated infectious exposures that result in inflammatory responses by the innate immune system. In addition, this inflammatory response to infection is thought to contribute to the epidemiological evidence linking childhood infection and adult non-communicable diseases. Consequently, the relationship between inn...
Article
Lay abstract: Mounting evidence indicates the contribution of early life environmental factors in autism spectrum disorder. We aim to report the prospective associations between early life environmental factors and autism spectrum disorder symptoms in children at the age of 2 years in a population-derived birth cohort, the Barwon Infant Study. Aut...
Article
Low 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) concentration is a recognised risk factor for multiple sclerosis (MS). Associations with vitamin D metabolites and vitamin D binding globulin (VDBG) have not been widely studied. We assessed the association between vitamin D metabolites (25(OH)D2, 25(OH)D3, c3-epimer 25(OH)D3, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3)...
Article
Our inability to reliably predict disease outcomes in multiple sclerosis remains an issue for clinicians and clinical trialists. This study aims to create, from available clinical, genetic, and environmental factors; a clinical-environmental-genotypic prognostic index to predict the probability of new relapses and disability worsening. The analyses...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background : The risk of adult onset cardiovascular and metabolic (cardiometabolic) disease accrues from early life. Infection is ubiquitous in infancy and induces inflammation, a key cardiometabolic risk factor, but the relationship between infection, inflammation, and metabolic profiles in early childhood remains unexplored. We investigated relat...
Article
Poor cognitive outcomes in early childhood predict poor educational outcomes and diminished health over the life course. We sought to investigate (i) whether maternal metabolites predict child cognition, and (ii) if maternal metabolomic profile mediates the relationship between environmental exposures and child cognition. Metabolites were measured...
Article
Background : While a number of studies have examined associations between dietary factors and risk of multiple sclerosis (MS), little is known about intakes of inflammation-modulating foods and nutrients and risk of MS. Objectives : To test associations between the Dietary Inflammatory Index (DII®) and risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central...
Article
Higher intakes of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (n3PUFAs) have been associated with lower MS risk. We aimed to test associations between the Omega-3 Index, blood levels of n3PUFAs, fish oil supplement use, and fish consumption with a first clinical diagnosis of CNS demyelination (FCD). Cases (n = 250) had a higher Omega-3 Index compared with...
Article
Background The association between physical activity and adiposity in preschool-aged children is unclear. Objective To assess the cross-sectional association between objectively measured physical activity and body fat in preschool-aged children. Methods In the preschool review in an Australian birth cohort study (n = 1074), mean duration and time...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: There is mounting evidence that in utero and early life exposures may predispose an individual to metabolic disorders in later life; and dysregulation of lipid metabolism is critical in such outcomes. However, there is limited knowledge about lipid metabolism and factors causing lipid dysregulation in early life that could result in adv...
Article
Measures to control the COVID-19 pandemic have disrupted social networks and employment security worldwide. Longitudinal data in representative samples are required to understand the corresponding mental health impacts. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of depressive symptoms in Australian women raising young families during the first Victorian l...
Article
Background Previous epidemiological studies have found positive associations between maternal infections and childhood leukaemia; however, evidence from prospective cohort studies is scarce. We aimed to examine the associations using large-scale prospective data. Methods Data were pooled from six population-based birth cohorts in Australia, Denmar...
Article
Background Environmental microbial exposure and human gut microbiota play a role in development of the immune system and susceptibility to food allergy. Pacifier use has been inconsistently associated with allergy, but the association between sanitization and food allergy is unknown. We investigated the association between infant pacifier use, with...
Article
Full-text available
Background Inflammation has been suggested to contribute to the pathogenesis of adult mental illness and been implicated mechanistically in childhood behavioural problems like internalising and externalising symptoms. High-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and glycoprotein acetyls (GlycA) are biomarkers of chronic low-grade inflammation. We aime...
Article
Focus of Presentation This presentation provides a practical perspective on molecular epidemiologic analysis within a single high dimensional study to consider a causal question. Findings The work steps include special issues. Those include composite exposures and understanding of collinearity across predictors. Laboratory artefact needs to be min...
Article
Background Risk factors in Multiple Sclerosis (MS) have been identified in samples that contain predominantly cases with relapse-onset MS (ROMS). It is unknown whether the risk factors differ in people with a progressive-onset MS (POMS). Methods The case-control study included 147 POMS cases, 264 ROMS cases and 558 community controls. Questionnair...
Article
Pathways towards many adult-onset conditions begin early in life, even in utero. Maternal health in pregnancy influences this process, but little is known how it affects neonatal metabolism. We investigated associations between pregnancy and birth factors and cord blood metabolomic profile in a large, population-derived cohort. Metabolites were mea...
Article
Environmental exposures during pregnancy that alter both the maternal gut microbiome and the infant’s risk of allergic disease and asthma include a traditional farm environment and consumption of unpasteurized cow’s milk, antibiotic use, dietary fiber and psychosocial stress. Multiple mechanisms acting in concert may underpin these associations and...
Article
Background Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine could play a role in counteracting the rising prevalence of atopic diseases, through its beneficial off-target effects. We aimed to determine whether neonatal BCG vaccination reduces the incidence of eczema in infants. Methods Randomised controlled trial with 1272 infants allocated to receive BCG-De...
Article
Background Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccination has beneficial off-target effects that may include protecting against non-mycobacterial infectious diseases. We aimed to determine whether neonatal BCG vaccination reduces lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) in infants in the MIS BAIR trial. Methods In this investigator-blinded trial, neon...
Article
Full-text available
Background Murine studies demonstrate that maternal prenatal gut microbiota influences brain development and behaviour of offspring. No human study has related maternal gut microbiota to behavioural outcomes during early life. This study aimed to evaluate relationships between the prenatal faecal microbiota, prenatal diet and childhood behaviour....
Preprint
Lipids play a vital role in human health and development, but changes to their circulatory levels during gestation and in early life are poorly understood. Here we present the first developmental and intergenerational landscape of the human circulatory lipidome, derived by profiling of 480 lipid species representing 25 lipid classes, in mothers and...
Article
Full-text available
Background Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with acute respiratory infection (ARI) in early life, but this has not been evaluated in Indonesia. We aimed to determine the incidence of ARI in Indonesian infants, and to evaluate the association with vitamin D deficiency. Methods From 23 December 2015 to 31 December 2017, we conducted a commun...
Article
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Objectives Larger sibships are associated with poorer cognitive and language outcomes but have different impacts on child emotional development. Previous studies have not taken into account sibling age, nor have impacts across multiple neurodevelopmental domains been considered in the same participant group. This study investigated the influence of...
Article
Background Environmental microbial exposure plays a role in immune system development and susceptibility to food allergy. Objective We sought to investigate whether infant pacifier use during the first postnatal year, with further consideration of sanitization, alters the risk of food allergy by age 1 year. Methods The birth cohort recruited preg...
Article
Background In Western countries, Asian children have higherfood allergy riskthanCaucasian children. The early life environmental exposures for this discrepancyare unclear. We aimed tocompare prevalence of food allergyand associated risk factors between Asian children in Singapore andAustralia. Methods We studied children in the Growing Up in Singa...
Article
Current physical activity recommendations have been based on evidence from systematic reviews of questionnaire-based data. Questionnaire-based physical activity data are subject to both random and non-random error. If the estimated association between physical activity and health outcomes was different when a more accurate, objective measure was us...
Article
Vitamin D has shown immune-modulatory effects but mostly in in vitro and animal studies. Regulatory T cells (Treg) are important for a balanced immune system. The relationship between vitamin D on the number of circulating neonatal Treg is unclear. We sought to investigate the association between maternal and neonatal vitamin D metabolites and cord...
Article
Full-text available
Background We aimed to estimate the association between exposure to adversity and inflammatory markers in mid (4 years) and late (11–12 years) childhood, and whether effects differ by type and timing of exposure. Methods Data sources: Barwon Infant Study (BIS; N = 510 analyzed) and Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC; N = 1156 analyzed...
Article
Full-text available
Background Vitamin D deficiency in infants has been associated with an increased risk of a number of diseases but there are limited data on the prevalence and determinants of vitamin D deficiency from tropical settings with high infant morbidity and mortality. Objective To determine the prevalence and determinants of vitamin D deficiency in infant...
Article
Aim: To determine the incidence, risk factors and health service utilisation for infection in the first 12 months of life in a population-derived Australian pre-birth cohort. Methods: The Barwon Infant Study is a population-derived pre-birth cohort with antenatal recruitment (n = 1074) based in Geelong, Victoria, Australia. Infection data were c...
Article
Background: Longer duration of breastfeeding may be protective against asthma. However, early manifestations of allergic disease, such as eczema, are risk factors for asthma and can influence duration of breastfeeding, hence may bias observable associations. Objective: We examined the relationship between breastfeeding ever and duration on the d...
Article
Introduction The leptin signalling pathway is important in metabolic health during pregnancy. However, few studies have investigated the determinants and extent of leptin receptor gene (LEPR) expression in the placenta, nor the relationship with infant health in early life. Here, we investigate the genetic and maternal in utero determinants of plac...
Article
Background Dietary patterns and their association with subsequent clinical course have not been well studied in early multiple sclerosis (MS). Objectives To describe dietary patterns in people in 5 years following first clinical demyelination and assess associations with MS conversion and relapse. Methods This study included baseline food frequen...
Article
Birth during pollen seasons may influence food allergy risk but no study has assessed pollen exposure. Using the HealthNuts population-based cohort of 5276 infants, we assessed grass pollen exposures, in utero and up to the first 6 months of life, on hen’s egg, sesame and peanut allergy outcomes at 12 months. Cumulative pollen exposure in the first...
Article
Capsule summary: This study provides the first evidence that early dietary exposure to cashew by age 1 year is associated with reduced risk of cashew allergy in a population-based cohort.
Article
Background Few studies have investigated adverse food reactions among food-allergic children in a population-based sample, which is critical for the development of evidence-based management strategies. Objective We aimed to evaluate the frequency, characteristics and risk factors for adverse food reactions, including anaphylaxis, among food-allerg...
Article
Background Methylation of the hypoxia-inducible factor 3α gene (HIF3A) in blood has been reproducibly linked to body-mass index (BMI) in adults. Despite emerging evidence implicating HIF3A in angiogenesis and metabolism, no studies have examined the link between HIF3A methylation in early life and cardiovascular health. Here, we investigated the re...
Article
Full-text available
Human exposure to phthalate chemicals, used in consumer product plastics, occurs throughout the day. Phthalate levels in pregnant women are associated with offspring health effects including obesity and neurodevelopmental problems. Knowledge of predictors of exposure is necessary in order to effectively reduce phthalate exposure. The present study...
Article
Background Fatty acids have been implicated in early life immune development. Food allergy provides a clear phenotype of early allergic disease. Fish oil and vitamin D have immune-modulating properties. We aimed to identify the metabolomic profile of (i) infant food allergy and (ii) factors linked to food allergy in past studies such as fish oil su...
Article
Prenatal phthalate chemicals may have adverse effects on brain development by various mechanisms including oxidant damage. However, birth cohort findings have been conflicting. This study aimed to (i) investigate the interplay between maternal prenatal phthalate levels, infant genetic vulnerability to oxidative stress, and child neurodevelopment an...
Article
Experimental evidence suggests that perinatal light imprinting of circadian clocks and systems may affect downstream physiology and cancer risk in later life. For humans, the predominant circadian stimulus is the daily light-dark cycle. Herein, we explore associations between perinatal photoperiod characteristics (photoperiod: duration of daylight...
Article
Full-text available
In mice, the maternal microbiome influences fetal immune development and postnatal allergic outcomes. Westernized populations have high rates of allergic disease and low rates of gastrointestinal carriage of Prevotella, a commensal bacterial genus that produces short chain fatty acids and endotoxins, each of which may promote the development of fet...
Chapter
The prevalence of food allergy and anaphylaxis over the last decades seems to have risen rapidly in developed countries. In this review, we outline the principal theories that have been postulated to explain the rise in food allergy. We explore the role of multiple genes that have been linked to the development of food allergy; however, the recent...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Despite intense interest in the relationship between gut microbiota and brain development, longitudinal data from human studies are lacking. This study aimed to investigate the relationship between the composition of gut microbiota during infancy and subsequent behavioural outcomes. Methods: A subcohort of 201 children with behaviour...
Article
Increasing evidence links epigenetic variation to anthropometric and metabolic measures. Leptin signalling regulates appetite and energy expenditure, and in pregnancy is important for nutrient supply to the foetus. Maternal metabolic health and foetal growth are linked to infant blood leptin gene (LEP) methylation, which has been cross-sectionally...
Article
Background and objective As caesarean delivery and childhood allergy continue to rise, their inter-relationships may change. We examined whether caesarean delivery predicts allergic disease and impaired lung function in two contemporary harmonised population-based cohorts. Methods Parent-reported asthma and eczema data were drawn from two prospect...
Article
Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) metabolic profiling quantifies a large number of metabolites. From adolescence, specific metabolites are influenced by age, sex and body mass index; data on early-life metabolic profiles are limited. We investigated associations between sex, birth weight, weight and adiposity with NMR metabolic profile at age 12 mon...
Article
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Leptin regulates satiety and energy homoeostasis, and plays a key role in placentation in pregnancy. Previous studies have demonstrated regulation of leptin gene (LEP) expression and/or methylation in placenta and cord blood in association with early life exposures, but most have been small and have not considered the influence of genetic variation...
Article
Full-text available
Despite the many advances made in the diagnosis and management of preeclampsia, this syndrome remains a leading cause of maternal mortality and life-long morbidity, as well as adverse fetal outcomes. Successful prediction and therapeutic intervention require an improved understanding of the molecular mechanisms, which underlie preeclampsia pathophy...
Article
Background: Few studies have investigated the antecedents and outcomes of infants who demonstrate IgE sensitization to foods that they clinically tolerate. Improved understanding of this sensitized-tolerant phenotype may inform strategies for the prevention of food allergy. Methods: In an Australian birth cohort (n=1074), assembled using an unse...