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Food allergy in children: what is new?

Turner, Paul J.a,b; Boyle, Robert J.a

Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care: May 2014 - Volume 17 - Issue 3 - p 285–293
doi: 10.1097/MCO.0000000000000052
PAEDIATRICS: Edited by Berthold V. Koletzko and Raanan Shamir

Purpose of review: Food allergy affects up to 10% of preschool children, and continues to increase in prevalence in many countries, resulting in a major public health issue, with practical implications for the food industry, educational establishments and healthcare systems.

Recent findings: The need to distinguish between food allergen sensitization and true clinical reactivity remains crucial in diagnosis, often requiring formal food challenge to avoid unnecessary dietary elimination. Epicutaneous exposure in the absence of oral tolerance induction during infancy may be an important risk factor for food allergy. Mounting evidence suggests that for milk and egg allergens, many children are able to tolerate the food when heat-modified, and that this may hasten resolution of the allergy.

Summary: These developments will hopefully result in a lower adverse impact on quality of life for food-allergic individuals and their families.

aSection of Paediatrics (Allergy and Infectious Diseases) and MRC and Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, Imperial College London, London, UK

bDivision of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Correspondence to Dr Paul J. Turner, Section of Paediatrics (Allergy and Infectious Diseases), Imperial College London, Norfolk Place, London W2 1PG, UK. Tel: +44 20 3312 7754; fax: +44 20 3312 7571; e-mail: paulyt@doctors.org.uk

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins