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Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2004 Nov;93(5 Suppl 3):S12-8.

Peanut allergenicity.

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  • 1Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA.



To provide the reader with a relevant review of the structure and allergenicity of the major peanut allergens, while also exploring predictors of clinical reactivity to peanuts, the natural history of peanut allergy, and novel therapeutic strategies for peanut hypersensitivity.


A PubMed search for the years 1980 to 2004 was performed using the following search terms: peanut allergy, food allergy, anaphylaxis, peanut allergen structure, and peanut immunotherapy.


Articles highlighting major advances in the study of peanut allergy were selected for further review.


Peanut allergy is the most serious of the hypersensitivity reactions to foods due to its persistence and high risk of severe anaphylaxis. The major peanut allergens and their associated immunodominant IgE-binding epitopes have been characterized. Definition of these allergens has lead to an increased understanding of the peanut-specific immunologic response and improved predictors of clinical reactivity to peanuts. An understanding of these mechanisms is vital for the eventual development of safe and effective immunotherapy for peanut allergic patients. Novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches are being developed for patients with peanut hypersensitivity.


Improved understanding of the molecular structure of the major peanut allergens and the peanut-specific immune response has lead to significant diagnostic and therapeutic advances in the study of peanut allergy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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