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Dig Dis Sci. 2007 Jul;52(7):1662-72. Epub 2007 Jan 24.

Oral specific desensitization in food-allergic children.

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  • 1Department of Allergy, Catholic University, Policlinico Gemelli, Rome, Italy.


The possibility of obtaining oral desensitization in patients with food allergy is still a matter of debate. We decided to evaluate the safety and efficacy of standardized protocols for oral desensitization with the most common food allergens. Forty-two children (ages up to 16 years) diagnosed as affected by food allergy (on the basis of clinical history, skin prick tests, measurement of specific IgE, and double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge) underwent a sublingual-oral desensitizing treatment according to new standardized protocols. The control group consisted of 10 patients who followed an elimination diet. The treatment was successfully completed by 85.7% of the patients. Specific IgE showed a significant decrease, while specific IgG(4) showed a significant increase, in all treated patients. The immunological modifications observed in our patients lead us to hypothesize that oral tolerance may be mediated by the same mechanisms as those involved in traditional desensitizing treatments for respiratory and insect sting allergy.

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