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Isr Med Assoc J. 2012 Jan;14(1):63-9.

Oral immunotherapy for the treatment of food allergy.

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  • 1Allergy and Immune Disorders, Murdoch Children's Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia.

Abstract

Food allergies have increased significantly over recent decades and are the most common cause of admissions for anaphylaxis in childhood, particularly in children under 5 years of age. Current management of food allergy is limited to strict food allergen avoidance together with education on the recognition and emergency management of allergic reactions, and in some cases provision of self-injectable adrenaline. Although this supportive management approach is generally effective, it is burdensome for patients and families, and in turn leads to reduced quality of life. Patients with food allergy would benefit greatly from a definitive treatment that could achieve long-term tolerance. Recent studies demonstrate that oral immunotherapy (OIT) can induce desensitization and modulate allergen-specific immune responses. However, it remains uncertain whether long-term tolerance can be achieved with current OIT regimens. Increased allergen dose, duration of OIT and/or inclusion of an immune modifying adjuvant may enhance the tolerogenic potential of OLT. Allergic reactions during OIT are common, although severe reactions are infrequent. Oral immunotherapy holds promise as a novel approach to the definitive treatment of food allergy.

PMID:
22624447
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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