Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Oral Immunotherapy Shows Promise as Treatment for Egg Allergy

Published: Monday, July 23, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, July 23, 2012
Bookmark and Share
NIH-funded study suggests that egg therapy helps children overcome their allergies.

Giving children and adolescents with egg allergy small but increasing daily doses of egg white powder holds the possibility of developing into a way to enable some of them to eat egg-containing foods without having allergic reactions, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The study results will appear online in the July 19th issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

"Children with egg allergy are at risk for severe reactions if they are accidentally exposed to egg-containing foods," said Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., director of the NIH's National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

Fauci continued, "Currently, the only way to prevent these reactions from occurring is for these children to avoid foods that contain eggs. While this relatively small study provides encouraging new information, it is important for the public to understand that this experimental therapy can safely be done only by properly trained physicians."

The study is one of several federally funded trials of oral immunotherapy (OIT), an approach in which a person with food allergy consumes gradually increasing amounts of the allergenic food as a way to treat the allergy.

Because OIT carries significant risk for allergic reactions, these studies are all conducted under the guidance of trained clinicians.

Symptoms of allergic reactions can range from mild (hives, redness and itchiness of the skin) to severe (swelling of the back of the throat, trouble breathing, drop in blood pressure, and faintness or dizziness).

The trial was conducted by the NIAID-supported Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) at clinical sites in Baltimore; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Denver; Little Rock, Ark.; and New York City.

The goals of the study were to determine if daily egg OIT reduced or eliminated participants' allergic responses to egg protein and if it did, whether or not the benefit persisted after therapy was stopped for four to six weeks.

The CoFAR study enrolled 55 children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years who had egg allergy, one of the most common food allergies seen in children.

Participants were randomly assigned either to the treatment group, which received egg OIT (40 participants), or to the control group, which did not (15 participants). Both groups were followed for 24 months.

Participants received a daily dose of egg white powder or cornstarch powder (placebo) at home. Researchers gradually increased the dose of egg or placebo powder every two weeks until the children in the egg OIT group were eating the equivalent of about one-third of an egg every day.

Participants came to the clinic to have three oral food challenges, at 10 months, 22 months and 24 months, with the maximum challenge equivalent to one egg.

They passed the challenge if they had either no symptoms or only transient symptoms not directly observable by a doctor, such as throat discomfort. Participants failed the challenge if they had a symptom that could be observed by a doctor, such as wheezing.

After 10 months, none of the participants who received placebo passed the challenge, but 55 percent of those on egg OIT did. After 22 months of egg OIT, researchers gave a second oral food challenge to all of the children in the treatment group. At this food challenge, 75 percent of those on egg OIT passed.

"At the beginning of the study, most of the participants were highly allergic to egg, but after months of daily egg OIT, we found that many of them could eat more than a whole egg without having a reaction," said A. Wesley Burks, M.D., chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, one of the study's lead authors.

"Reducing these kids' allergic response to egg also lessened parental anxiety over how their children might react if accidently exposed to egg at school or at someone else's house," added Stacie Jones, M.D., professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock, another lead author on the study.

To determine if egg OIT had any long-term benefit on treating the children's food allergy, the participants who passed the 22-month test were completely removed from egg OIT for four to six weeks and then rechallenged at 24 months.

Eleven of the original 40 children (about 27 percent) passed this third food challenge. None of the children from the placebo group were retested because they had failed the prior food challenges.

The 11 children who passed the third test were allowed to eat egg or egg-containing foods in their normal diets as frequently or infrequently as they chose. At a one-year follow-up, they reported no symptoms.

According to the study authors, these results indicate two types of benefits. First, the majority of the study children could be safely exposed to egg while on egg OIT. Second, a small group of children - approximately one-fourth - were able to eat egg in their regular diets even after stopping OIT for four to six weeks.

"Although these results indicate that OIT may help resolve certain food allergies, this type of therapy is still in its early experimental stages and more research is needed," said Daniel Rotrosen, M.D., director of the NIAID Division of Allergy, Immunology and Transplantation, which oversees CoFAR. "We want to emphasize that food OIT and oral food challenges should not be tried at home because of the risk of severe allergic reactions."


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,500+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 5,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Peanut Allergy Prevention Strategy is Nutritionally Safe
Early-life peanut consumption does not affect duration of breastfeeding or children’s growth and nutrition.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
Diet, Exercise, Smoking Habits and Genes Interact To Affect and Risk
NIH-funded study points to converging factors that drive disease-related inflammation.
Thursday, September 17, 2015
NIH Awards Nearly $35 Million to Research Natural Products
Innovative Research Centers Program investigates botanical dietary supplements and other natural products.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Creating A Better Wearable Alcohol Biosensor
First prize winner will be awarded $200,000.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Low-glycemic Diets May Not Improve Cardiovascular Outcomes
Results of the study appear online in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Eating Habits, Body Fat Related to Brain Chemistry
NIH study ties eating in response to food cues to habit-forming region in obese adults.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
NIH Researchers Conduct First Genomic Survey of Human Skin Fungal Diversity
Location on the body surface determines fungal composition with the greatest diversity on feet.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Genes, Junk Food and Weight
Recent evidence suggests that gut microbes play a role in obesity.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
Therapy Shows Promise for Peanut Allergy
Results appeared in the January 2013 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
Friday, January 25, 2013
Hope for Beating Egg Allergy
Children with egg allergy now eat the food safely by eating small daily doses of egg powder.
Friday, August 03, 2012
Food Choice May Affect Ability to Keep Weight Off
The mix of carbohydrate, fat and protein in your diet may be a critical factor in maintaining weight loss, a new study reports. The finding suggests that, to the body, not all calories are created equal.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Severe Food Allergy Reactions in Kids
Dr. David M. Fleischer and Dr. Scott H. Sicherer to study food allergy reactions in preschool children.
Friday, July 13, 2012
NIH Study Uncovers Probable Mechanism Underlying Resveratrol Activity
Findings may settle scientific debate surrounding this chemical found in red wine and other foods.
Monday, February 06, 2012
Scientific News
Feeding Babies Egg and Peanut May Prevent Food Allergy
The new analysis pools all existing data, and suggests introducing egg and peanut at an early age may prevent the development of allergy.
Food Colour Re-Evaluation Milestone
The re-evaluation of titanium dioxide marks the completion of the EFSA's re-evaluation of all food colours permitted for use in the EU before 2009.
Risks in Your Food
Researchers have developed a method to reliably detect allergenic substances in foods.
Dietary Selenium Content Linked to Cancer
Researchers have shown higher blood selenium levels are associated with reduced liver cancer risk.
Sensor Could Help Fight Bacterial Infections
The sensor can detect E.coli bacteria in 15-20 minutes over a wide temperature range, offering a fast and cost effective tests.
Chemical in Plastics Linked to Genital Abnormalities
Researchers have linked an endocrine-disrupting chemical to reproductive organ abnormalities in children.
Sharks Contain High Levels of Neurotoxins Linked to Alzheimer’s
Research team suggests restricting shark consumption to protect human health as shark fins & meat contain high levels of neurotoxins.
Investigating Bacteria in Raw Milk
A microbial study of milk trucks aims to improve dairy food safety and quality.
FDA Isolates Hepatitis A Outbreak Origin
The FDA and CDC are aiding the Hawaii Department of Health investigation into hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections linked to imported scallops.
MRSA – Just Add Salt
Scientists have discoved a new way to attack Staphylococcus aureus through salt content mechanisms
SELECTBIO

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,500+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
5,000+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!