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Egg oral immunotherapy

Vickery, Brian P.

Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology: June 2012 - Volume 12 - Issue 3 - p 278–282
doi: 10.1097/ACI.0b013e3283535bae
FOOD ALLERGY: Edited by Alessandro Fiocchi and Julie Wang

Purpose of review Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies of childhood and no interventional therapy is currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Much recent research has focused on the safety, efficacy, and mechanism of oral immunotherapy (OIT) as a disease-modifying treatment.

Recent findings Small pilot studies with varying protocol designs have shown egg OIT to be relatively well tolerated, and efficacy is suggested but not formally demonstrated. At this time, no placebo-controlled randomized trial has been published confirming desensitization and no published study has convincingly demonstrated the development of OIT-induced tolerance to egg.

Summary Egg OIT is a promising modality for providing temporary protection from reactions caused by accidental egg exposure. However, the overall strength of the evidence in favor of egg OIT is limited by small sample sizes and the lack of controls, both of which are important considerations given the spontaneous resolution expected in egg allergy. More high-quality studies are necessary before egg OIT can be recommended as a viable treatment option.

Division of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina, USA

Correspondence to Brian P. Vickery, MD, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Box 2644, Durham, NC 27710, USA. Tel: +1 919 684 9083; fax: +1 919 668 3750; e-mail: brian.vickery@duke.edu

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