Parents of children with food allergy, primary care physicians, and members of the general public play a critical role in the health and well-being of food-allergic children, though little is known about their knowledge and perceptions of food allergy. The purpose of this paper is to detail the development of the Chicago Food Allergy Research Surveys to assess food allergy knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs among these three populations.
From 2006–2008, parents of food-allergic children, pediatricians, family physicians, and adult members of the general public were recruited to assist in survey development. Preliminary analysis included literature review, creation of initial content domains, expert panel review, and focus groups. Survey validation included creation of initial survey items, expert panel ratings, cognitive interviews, reliability testing, item reduction, and final validation. National administration of the surveys is ongoing.
Nine experts were assembled to oversee survey development. Six focus groups were held: 2/survey population, 4–9 participants/group; transcripts were reviewed via constant comparative methods to identify emerging themes and inform item creation. At least 220 participants per population were recruited to assess the relevance, reliability, and utility of each survey item as follows: cognitive interviews, 10 participants; reliability testing ≥ 10; item reduction ≥ 50; and final validation, 150 respondents.
The Chicago Food Allergy Research surveys offer validated tools to assess food allergy knowledge and perceptions among three distinct populations: a 42 item parent tool, a 50 item physician tool, and a 35 item general public tool. No such tools were previously available.
Food allergy is an important public health problem affecting 5% of infants and children in Korea. Food allergy is defined as an immune response triggered by food proteins. Food allergy is highly associated with atopic dermatitis and is one of the most common triggers of potentially fatal anaphylaxis in the community. Sensitization to food allergens can occur in the gastrointestinal tract (class 1 food allergy) or as a consequence of cross reactivity to structurally homologous inhalant allergens (class 2 food allergy). Allergenicity of food is largely determined by structural aspects, including cross-reactivity and reduced or enhanced allergenicity with cooking that convey allergenic characteristics to food. Management of food allergy currently focuses on dietary avoidance of the offending foods, prompt recognition and treatment of allergic reactions, and nutritional support. This review includes definitions and examines the prevalence and management of food allergies and the characteristics of food allergens.
Food allergy; Allergens; Cross reactions; Disease management
Food allergies are one of the first manifestations of allergic disease and have been shown to significantly impact on general health perception, parental emotional distress and family activities. It is estimated that in the Western world, almost one in ten children have an IgE-mediated allergy. Cow’s milk and egg allergy are common childhood allergies. Until recently, children with food allergy were advised to avoid all dietary exposure to the allergen to which they were sensitive, in the thought that consumption would exacerbate their allergy. However, recent publications indicate that up to 70% of children with egg allergy can tolerate egg baked in a cake or muffin without apparent reaction. Likewise, up to 75% of children can tolerate baked goods containing cow’s milk, and these children demonstrate IgE and IgG4 profiles indicative of tolerance development. This article will review the current literature regarding the use of heated food allergens as immunotherapy for children with cow’s milk and egg allergy.
egg; milk; allergy; heated allergens; tolerance; oral; immunotherapy
The atopic march is well documented, but the inter-relationship of food allergy (FA) and asthma is not well understood.
To examine the strength of the association and temporal relationships between food allergy and asthma.
This analysis included 271 children ≥6 years (older group) and 296 children <6 years (younger group) from a family-based FA cohort in Chicago, IL. Asthma was determined by parental report of physician diagnosis. FA status was determined based on type and timing of clinical symptoms after ingestion of a specific food, and results of prick skin test (Multi-Test II) and allergen specific IgE (Phadia ImmunoCAP). Analyses were carried out using logistic regression accounting for important covariates and autocorrelations among siblings. Kaplan-Meier curves were used to compare the time to onset of asthma by FA status.
Symptomatic FA was associated with asthma in both older (OR=4.9, 95%CI:2.5–9.5) and younger children (OR=5.3, 95%CI:1.7–16.2). The association was stronger among children with multiple or severe food allergies, especially in older children. Children with FA developed asthma earlier and at higher prevalence than children without FA (Cox Proportional hazard ratio=3.7, 95%CI:2.2–6.3 for children ≥6 years and hazard ratio=3.3, 95%CI:1.1–10 for children <6 years of age). No associations were seen between asymptomatic food sensitization and asthma.
Independent of markers of atopy such as aeroallergen sensitization and family history of asthma, there was a significant association between FA and asthma. This association was even stronger in subjects with multiple food allergies or severe food allergy.
Food allergy; asthma; child
Food allergies affect 6% of children and 3% to 4% of adults in the United States. Although several studies have examined the prevalence of food allergy, little information is available regarding the prevalence of multiple food allergies. Estimates of prevalence of people allergic to multiple foods is difficult to ascertain because those with allergy to one food may avoid additional foods for concerns related to cross-reactivity, positive tests, or prior reactions, or they may be reluctant to introduce foods known to be common allergens. Diagnosis relies on an accurate history and selective IgE testing. It is important to understand the limitations of the available tests and the role of cross-reactivity between allergens. Allergen avoidance and readily accessible emergency medications are the cornerstones of management. In addition, a multidisciplinary approach to management of individuals with multiple food allergies may be needed, as avoidance of several food groups can have nutritional, developmental, and psychosocial consequences.
Multiple food allergy; IgE; Sensitization; Cross-reactivity; Diagnosis; Allergy management
To examine information needs and preferences of parents regarding food allergy.
Qualitative study including in‐depth semi‐structured interviews and focus group discussions. Data were audio‐recorded, transcribed verbatim and analysed using the constant comparative method, aided by participant checking of interview summaries, independent reviewers and qualitative analysis software.
84 parents of children with food allergy.
Three paediatric allergy clinics and a national consumer organisation.
Most parent participants had received third level education (72%) and 39% had occupational backgrounds in health and education. Parents experienced different phases in their need for information: at diagnosis when there is an intense desire for information, at follow‐up when there is continuing uncertainty about allergy severity and appropriate management, and at new events and milestones. They preferred information to be provided in a variety of formats, with access to reliable individualised advice between clinic appointments, within the context of an ongoing relationship with a health professional. Parents wished to know the reasoning behind doctor's opinions and identified areas of core information content, including unaddressed topics such as what to feed their child rather than what to avoid. Suboptimal information provision was cited by parents as a key reason for seeking second opinions.
Parents with children with food allergies have unmet information needs. Study findings may assist in the design and implementation of targeted educational strategies which better meet parental needs and preferences.
food allergy; parent; child; patient education; information needs
Food allergy is defined as an adverse immunologic response to a dietary protein. Food-related reactions are associated with a broad array of signs and symptoms that may involve many bodily systems including the skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts, and cardiovascular system. Food allergy is a leading cause of anaphylaxis and, therefore, referral to an allergist for appropriate and timely diagnosis and treatment is imperative. Diagnosis involves a careful history and diagnostic tests, such as skin prick testing, serum-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) testing and, if indicated, oral food challenges. Once the diagnosis of food allergy is confirmed, strict elimination of the offending food allergen from the diet is generally necessary. For patients with significant systemic symptoms, the treatment of choice is epinephrine administered by intramuscular injection into the lateral thigh. Although most children “outgrow” allergies to milk, egg, soy and wheat, allergies to peanut, tree nuts, fish and shellfish are often lifelong. This article provides an overview of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, management and prognosis of patients with food allergy.
Data from many studies have suggested a rise in the prevalence of food allergies during the past 10 to 20 years. Currently, no curative treatments for food allergy exist, and there are no effective means of preventing the disease. Management of food allergy involves strict avoidance of the allergen in the patient's diet and treatment of symptoms as they arise. Because diagnosis and management of the disease can vary between clinical practice settings, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) sponsored development of clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy. The guidelines establish consensus and consistency in definitions, diagnostic criteria, and management practices. They also provide concise recommendations on how to diagnose and manage food allergy and treat acute food allergy reactions. The original guidelines encompass practices relevant to patients of all ages, but food allergy presents unique and specific concerns for infants, children, and teenagers. To focus on those concerns, we describe here the guidelines most pertinent to the pediatric population.
food allergy; food hypersensitivity; infants; children; guidelines; anaphylaxis
The Norwegian Food Allergy Register was established at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health in 2000. The purpose of the register is to gain information about severe allergic reactions to food in Norway and to survey food products in relation to allergen labelling and contamination. Cases are reported on a voluntary basis by first line doctors, and submitted together with a serum sample for specific IgE analysis. The register has received a total of 877 reports from 1 July, 2000 to 31 December, 2010. Two age groups, small children and young adults are over-represented, and the overall gender distribution is 40:60 males-females. The legumes lupine and fenugreek have been identified as two “new” allergens in processed foods and cases of contamination and faults in production of processed foods have been revealed. The highest frequency of food specific IgE is to hazelnuts and peanuts, with a marked increase in reactions to hazelnuts during the last three years. The Food Allergy Register has improved our knowledge about causes and severity of food allergic reactions in Norway. The results show the usefulness of population based national food allergy registers in providing information for health authorities and to secure safe food for individuals with food allergies.
severe reactions to food; IgE-mediated reactions to food; food allergy register; food allergens
A joint study group on cow's milk allergy was convened by the Emilia-Romagna Working Group for Paediatric Allergy and by the Emilia-Romagna Working Group for Paediatric Gastroenterology to focus best practice for diagnosis, management and follow-up of cow's milk allergy in children and to offer a common approach for allergologists, gastroenterologists, general paediatricians and primary care physicians.
The report prepared by the study group was discussed by members of Working Groups who met three times in Italy. This guide is the result of a consensus reached in the following areas. Cow's milk allergy should be suspected in children who have immediate symptoms such as acute urticaria/angioedema, wheezing, rhinitis, dry cough, vomiting, laryngeal edema, acute asthma with severe respiratory distress, anaphylaxis. Late reactions due to cow's milk allergy are atopic dermatitis, chronic diarrhoea, blood in the stools, iron deficiency anaemia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, constipation, chronic vomiting, colic, poor growth (food refusal), enterocolitis syndrome, protein-losing enteropathy with hypoalbuminemia, eosinophilic oesophagogastroenteropathy. An overview of acceptable means for diagnosis is included. According to symptoms and infant diet, three different algorithms for diagnosis and follow-up have been suggested.
It is known that there is an increase in the prevalence of allergy and that allergic diseases have a negative impact on individuals' health-related quality of life (HRQL). However, research in this field is mainly focused on individuals with verified allergy, i.e. leaving out those with self-reported allergy-like conditions but with no doctor-diagnosis. Furthermore, studies on food hypersensitivity and quality of life are scarce. In order to receive information about the extent to which adolescent females and males experience allergy-like conditions and the impact of these conditions on their everyday life, the present study aimed to investigate the magnitude of self-reported allergy-like conditions in adolescence and to evaluate their HRQL. Special focus was put on food hypersensitivity as a specific allergy-like condition and on gender differences.
In connection with lessons completed at the children's school, a study-specific questionnaire and the generic instrument SF-36 were distributed to 1488 adolescents, 13–21 years old (response rate 97%).
Sixty-four per cent of the respondents reported some kind of allergy-like condition: 46% reported hypersensitivity to defined substances and 51% reported allergic diseases (i.e. asthma/wheezing, eczema/rash, rhino-conjunctivitis). A total of 19% reported food hypersensitivity. Females more often reported allergy-like conditions compared with males (p < 0.001). The adolescents with allergy-like conditions reported significantly lower HRQL (p < 0.001) in seven of the eight SF-36 health scales compared with adolescents without such conditions, regardless of whether the condition had been doctor-diagnosed or not. Most adolescents suffered from complex allergy-like conditions.
The results indicate a need to consider the psychosocial impact of allergy-like conditions during school age. Further research is needed to elucidate the gender differences in this area. A team approach addressing better understanding of how allergy-like conditions impair the HRQL may improve the management of the adolescent's health problems, both in health-care services and in schools.
Health-related quality of life; hypersensitivity; allergic disease; food hypersensitivity; adolescence; gender
To develop and validate a food allergy educational program.
Materials developed through focus groups, parental and expert review were submitted to 60 parents of newly referred children having a prior food allergy diagnosis and an epinephrine autoinjector. The main outcome was correct demonstration of an autoinjector.
The correct number of autoinjector activation steps increased from 3.4 to 5.95 (of 6) after training (p<.001) and was 5.47 at 1 year (p<.05). The mean score for comfort with using the autoinjector (7 point Likert scale) before the curriculum was 4.63 (somewhat comfortable) and increased to 6.23 after the intervention (p<.05) and remained elevated at 1 year (6.03). Knowledge tests (maximum 15) increased from a mean score of 9.2 to 12.4 (p<.001) at the initial visit and remained at 12.7 at 1 year. The annualized rate of allergic reactions fell from 1.77 (historical) the year prior, to 0.42 (p<.001) after the program. On a 7 point Likert-scale, all satisfaction categories remained above a favorable mean score of 6: straight-forward, organized, interesting, relevant, and recommend to others.
This food allergy educational curriculum for parents, now available online at no cost, showed high levels of satisfaction and efficacy.
food allergy; anaphylaxis; education
Children with asthma have increased prevalence of food allergies. The relationship between food allergy and asthma morbidity is unclear.
We aimed to investigate the presence of food allergy as an independent risk factor for increased asthma morbidity using the School Inner-City Asthma (SICAS), a prospective study evaluating risk factors and asthma morbidity among urban children.
We prospectively surveyed 300 children from inner-city schools with physician-diagnosed asthma, followed by clinical evaluation. Food allergies were reported including symptoms experienced within one hour of food ingestion. Asthma morbidity, pulmonary function, and resource utilization were compared between children with food allergies and without.
Seventy-three (24%) of 300 asthmatic children surveyed had physician- diagnosed food allergy, and 36 (12%) had multiple food allergies. Those with any food allergy independently had increased risk of hospitalization (OR: 2.35, 95% CI: 1.30–4.24, p=0.005), and use of controller medication (OR: 1.99, 95% CI: 1.06–3.74, p=0.03). Those with multiple food allergies also had an independently higher risk of hospitalization in the past year (OR: 4.10 95% CI: 1.47–11.45, p=0.007), asthma-related hospitalization (OR: 3.52, 95% CI: 1.12–11.03, p=0.03), controller medication use (OR: 2.38 95% CI: 1.00–5.66, p=0.05), and more provider visits (median 4.5 versus 3.0, p=0.008). Furthermore, lung function was significantly lower (% predicted FEV1 and FEV1/FVC ratios) in both food allergy category groups.
Food allergy is highly prevalent in inner-city school-aged children with asthma. Children with food allergies have increased asthma morbidity and health resource utilization with decreased lung function, and this association is stronger in those with multiple food allergies.
asthma; food allergy; hospitalization; morbidity; prevalence; resource utilization; risk
Childrens food choice behaviour is influenced by a number of family and social factors. About 20% to 30% of the population modifies their diet for a suspected adverse reaction to food. Since avoidance is the mainstay of managing food allergy, it can be assumed to significantly affect food choices. It is therefore important to understand if and to what extent food allergy influences the way parents and children make their food choice decisions.
The research project has utilised an innovative observational approach in the form of a board game to investigate parental-child communication and food choice behaviour. Parents/guardians and children were given a problem-solving task related to food choice behaviour. Each session lasted up to 15 minutes and was conducted with 5 food allergic and 7 non-allergic children (aged 4–8 years) and their parents/guardians. The sessions were videotaped and analysed by constructing a 4-category scheme, which classifies parental utterances along 2 dimensions, food choice behavioural control and food choice recognition. Observational categories were compared between the 2 groups.
Preliminary findings indicate considerable variability in how parents/guardians and children with and without food allergy communicate when making food choice decisions. In general, children with food allergies seem to be more cautious and appear to have less responsibility when choosing their foods than healthy children of the same age.
Given the preliminary findings, this study will illuminate how food allergy affects the way parents/guardians and children make their food choice decisions.
Type I Allergy had been defined as an adverse immunologic reaction mediated by IgE that occurs after a repeated exposure to specific protein. The prevalence of the allergies has increased considerably in the past 20 years, thus increasing the need of study the response to several allergens. The objective was evaluate the frequency of foods and respiratory allergens sensitization in patients referred to Corpodiagnostica Laboratory (Caracas, Venezuela, ISO 9001:2008 certified laboratory) in the period that correspond from January 2010 and to July 2011.
There were a total of 2.445 patients with a request of specific IgE against some foods and aero-allergens. The sample was divided in groups according the age and sex. We measured the specific IgE to each patient by the in vitro RIDA Allergy-screen immunoblot method (r-biopharm, Germany).
The frequency of sensitization to aeroallergens were 41, 48% in 2010 (the most frequent were dust mites in the fallowing order: Dermatophagoides pteronissinus, D. farinae and Blomia tropicalis), and 51, 20% in 2011, being the frequent: D. farinae, B. tropicalis and D. pteronissinus. In the case of food allergens the frequency of sensitization were 25, 99% in 2010 and 36, 47% in 2011.
In Venezuela the most frequent aero-allergens during the whole period were the dust mites, unlike other countries with established weather seasons, by another hand for food allergens the most frequent were milk and cheese. In most patients, the specific concentration of IgE type antibodies against the aero-allergens and food proteins were low, however, we observed that for some allergens such as dust mites and seafood the concentration achieved were higher. The food allergies could predisposes to a further respiratory complication, therefore it is important the diagnosis of this kind of reactions.
Food allergies are potentially fatal immune-mediated disorders that are growing globally. The relationship between sex and food allergy remains incompletely understood. Here we tested the hypothesis that, should sex influence the clinical response to food allergens, this would be reflected by a sex disparity in published studies of food allergy. We performed a systematic search of the PubMed literature for IgE-mediated allergy to 11 allergenic foods of international regulatory importance. No date restriction was used and only articles in English were considered. Of the 4744 articles retrieved, 591 met the inclusion criteria representing 17528 subjects with food allergies. Whereas among children with food allergies, 64.35% were males and 35.65% were females (male/female ratio, 1.80), among adults 34.82% were males and 65.18% were females (male/female ratio, 0.53). Consequently, these data argue that there is need for further investigation to define the role of sex in the pathogenesis of food allergy.
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and may cause death. Since it is unpredictable and potentially fatal, prompt recognition and treatment are vital to maximize a positive outcome. The occurrence of anaphylaxis is increasing across all ages in the United States, with increased risk of worse outcome in teenagers/young adults and in those with comorbid conditions such as asthma. Gaps in the assessment of patient-specific risk factors, identification and prevention of triggers, recognition of signs/symptoms, and pharmacologic treatment of anaphylaxis have been identified at the physician and caregiver/patient level. A PubMed literature search (January 2000–December 2011) was conducted to identify publications on childhood anaphylaxis using the following terms: food allergy, food allergens, food hypersensitivity, epinephrine, epinephrine auto-injectors, anaphylactic triggers, and anaphylaxis. This review will critically appraise these key issues and highlight strategies that might result in improved management of anaphylaxis in children.
Epinephrine; Food allergy; Food hypersensitivity; Pediatric; Children; Anaphylaxis; Diagnosis; Treatment
Respiratory allergy and allergy to foods continue to be important health issues. There is evidence to indicate that the incidence of food allergy around the world is on the rise. Current estimates indicate that approximately 5% of young children and 1-2% of adults suffer from true food allergy (Kagan 2003). Although a large number of in vivo and in vitro tests exist for the clinical diagnosis of allergy in humans, we lack validated animal models of allergenicity. This deficiency creates serious problems for regulatory agencies and industries that must define the potential allergenicity of foods before marketing. The emergence of several biotechnologically derived foods and industrial proteins, as well as their potential to sensitize genetically predisposed populations to develop allergy, has prompted health officials and regulatory agencies around the world to seek approaches and methodologies to screen novel proteins for allergenicity.
Children with food allergies often have concurrent asthma.
The authors aimed to determine the prevalence of asthma in children with food allergies and the association of specific food allergies with asthma.
Parental questionnaire data regarding food allergy, corroborated by allergic sensitization were completed for a cohort of 799 children with food allergies. Multivariate regression analysis tested the association between food allergy and reported asthma.
In this cohort, the prevalence of asthma was 45.6%. After adjusting for each food allergy, environmental allergies, and family history of asthma, children with egg allergy (odds ratio [OR] = 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.3–3.2; P < .01) or tree nut allergy (OR = 2.0; 95% CI = 1.1–3.6; P = .02) had significantly greater odds of report of asthma.
There is a high prevalence of asthma in the food-allergic pediatric population. Egg and tree nut allergy are significantly associated with asthma, independent of other risk factors.
asthma; food allergy; food hypersensitivity; nut allergy; nut hypersensitivity; egg allergy; egg hypersensitivity; pediatrics; allergy; asthma epidemiology
Purpose of review
To consider the possible links between food allergy and asthma.
Food allergy and asthma coexist in many children, and recent studies demonstrate that having these co-morbid conditions increases the risk for morbidity. Children with food allergies and asthma are more likely to have near-fatal or fatal allergic reactions to food and more likely to have severe asthma.
Although a causal link has not been determined, increased awareness of the heightened risks of having both of these common childhood conditions, and good patient/parent education and management of both conditions, can lead to improved outcomes..
food; allergy; asthma; prevalence
Food allergy is being increasingly recognised with the highest prevalence being in preschool children. Pathogenesis varies so diagnosis rests on careful history and clinical examination, appropriate use of skin prick and serum-specific IgE testing, food challenge, and supervised elimination diets. A double blind placebo controlled food challenge is the gold standard diagnostic test. Avoidance of the allergenic food is the key towards successful management. IgE mediated food allergy may present as a potentially fatal anaphylactic reaction, and management consists of the appropriate use of adrenaline (epinephrine) and supportive measures. Sensitisation remains a key target for intervention. Disease modifying agents are currently under trial for managing difficult allergies. Management requires a multidisciplinary approach and follow up.
Hypersensitivity reactions towards non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) are common, although true allergies are detectable only in a subgroup of patients. The current study was prompted by a case observation, where a patient experienced generalized urticaria following his second course of diclofenac and proton pump inhibitor medication, and was found to have diclofenac-specific IgE. During recent years, our group has been investigating the importance of gastric digestion in the development of food allergies, demonstrating anti-acid medication as a risk factor for sensitization against food proteins.
Here, we aimed to investigate whether the mechanism of food allergy induction described can also be causative in NSAID allergy, using diclofenac as a paradigm.
We subjected BALB/c mice to several oral immunization regimens modelled after the patient’s medication intake. Diclofenac was applied with or without gastric acid suppression, in various doses, alone or covalently coupled to albumin, a protein abundant in gastric juices. Immune responses were assessed on the antibody level, and functionally examined by in vitro and in vivo crosslinking assays.
Only mice receiving albumin-coupled diclofenac under gastric acid suppression developed anti-diclofenac IgG1 and IgE, whereas no immune responses were induced by the drug alone or without gastric acid suppression. Antibody induction was dose dependent with the group receiving the higher dose of the drug showing sustained anti-diclofenac titres. The antibodies induced triggered basophil degranulation in vitro and positive skin tests in vivo.
Gastric acid suppression was found to be a causative mechanism in the induction of IgE-mediated diclofenac allergy.
acid suppression; adverse drug reactions; allergy; anti-ulcer drugs; diclofenac; gastric hypoacidity; hypersensitivity; IgE; non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
Background: Although the efficacy of leukotriene receptor antagonists (LTRAs) for bronchial asthma is already established, their effect on food allergy remains unclear.
Objective: To investigate the efficacy of LTRAs in children with food allergy. Methods: This retrospective study examined 65 children with food allergy who were aged between 3 and 36 months (mean 14±9.6 months) from 2005 to 2008. Thirty-two children were treated as a dietary control group by avoiding any antigenic foods to which they had previously experienced adverse reactions. The remaining 33 children, designated the LTRA group, were treated with pranlukast (7mg/kg bodyweight/day) in addition to maintaining dietary control. Clinical symptoms and laboratory data before and after 1 year of treatment were compared between the groups.
Results: Allergic symptoms improved in both the dietary controlled and LTRA groups, and there was no significant difference observed in the clinical parameters examined between the groups after the 1-year trial. Peripheral eosin-ophil count, serum IgE, interleukin (IL)-4, IL-5, IL-6, and eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) levels in children with food allergy were above standardized values in both groups. Although both the dietary controlled and LTRA groups showed a decreased eosinophil count (−273 ± 232 vs -595 ± 295/μL; p < 0.05 and p < 0.001, respectively), only children treated with LTRA showed a significant decrease in serum IgE (-73.5 ± 115 IU/mL; p < 0.01); conversely, the control group exhibited a significant increase in serum IgE (+159 ± 138 IU/mL; p < 0.01). Furthermore, the LTRA group also showed a significant decrease in serum IL-4 (54.5 ± 31.0 to 27.3 ± 10.1 pg/mL), IL-5 (6.7 ± 5.2 to 5.0 ± 0.4 pg/mL), and ECP (45.4 ± 15.0 to 15.0 ± 9.8 μg/L) levels (p < 0.05 for each).
Conclusion: Early intervention with LTRAs may be effective in regulating eosinophil count and serum IgE, IL-4, IL-5, and ECP levels. These data support the potential effectiveness of LTRAs in young children with food allergy to prevent further allergic development.
The purification, identification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic studies of an allergy-related protein, Pru du amandin, from P. dulcis nuts are reported.
Food allergies appear to be one of the foremost causes of hypersensitivity reactions. Nut allergies account for most food allergies and are often permanent. The 360 kDa hexameric protein Pru du amandin, a known allergen, was purified from almonds (Prunus dulcis) by ammonium sulfate fractionation and ion-exchange chromatography. The protein was identified by a BLAST homology search against the nonredundant sequence database. Pru du amandin belongs to the 11S legumin family of seed storage proteins characterized by the presence of a cupin motif. Crystals were obtained by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. The crystals belong to space group P41 (or P43), with unit-cell parameters a = b = 150.7, c = 164.9 Å.
Pru du amandin; 11S legumins; cupin motif
Food allergy is estimated to affect 3–4% of adults in the US, but there are limited educational resources for primary care physicians. The goal of this study was to develop and pilot a food allergy educational resource based upon a needs survey of non-allergist healthcare providers.
A survey was undertaken to identify educational needs and preferences for providers, with a focus on physicians caring for adults and teenagers, including emergency medicine providers. The results of the survey were used to develop a teaching program that was subsequently piloted on primary care and emergency medicine physicians. Knowledge base tests and satisfaction surveys were administered to determine the effectiveness of the educational program.
Eighty-two physicians (response rate, 65%) completed the needs assessment survey. Areas of deficiency and educational needs identified included: identification of potentially life-threatening food allergies, food allergy diagnosis, and education of patients about treatment (food avoidance and epinephrine use). Small group, on-site training was the most requested mode of education. A slide set and narrative were developed to address the identified needs. Twenty-six separately enrolled participants were administered the teaching set. Pre-post knowledge base scores increased from a mean of 38% correct to 64% correct (p < 0.001). Ability to correctly demonstrate the use of epinephrine self injectors increased significantly. Nearly all participants (>95%) indicated that the teaching module increased their comfort with recognition and management of food allergy.
Our pilot food allergy program, developed based upon needs assessments, showed strong participant satisfaction and educational value.