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Tuesday 26 March 2019
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Oral immunotherapy for egg allergy study results are encouraging

New research regarding egg oral immunotherapy (eOIT) has been presented at the annual American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology conference in San Francisco.
 
UNC School of Medicine was one of five centres to participate in the study, led by the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (COFAR) and funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The trial began with either eOIT or a placebo for 55 patients aged 5-11 who were allergic to egg. The treatments were randomised, with 40 subjects receiving treatment and 15 receiving placebo. 
 
The treatments lasted up to four years, during which patients were tested for their sensitivity to egg. Those who were considered desensitised - requiring a higher quantity of egg to cause an allergic reaction - could eat 10g, or about two teaspoons, of pure egg without reaction. Desensitised patients then stopped eOIT and were tested for sensitivity again. Those who did not have a reaction were considered sustained unresponsiveness (SU). After completing eOIT, concentrated egg (scrambled, fried or boiled egg) and/or baked egg (eggs incorporated into something like a cake) were recommended to be added into the patients' diet. For five years following the allergy treatment, patients were asked to report how much egg they ate, in what form they ate it, how often they ate it and how they felt afterward.
 
At the end of eOIT, 50% of patients were classified with SU, 28% of patients were classified as desensitised (without SU) and 22% as not desensitised. Of SU-classified patients, 100% were able to eat both baked and concentrated egg.
 
"Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies and usually appears in early childhood. It has significant risk for severe allergic reactions and negatively affects quality of life for children with the allergy," said Edwin Kim MD, study lead author and assistant professor of medicine and paediatrics at the UNC School of Medicine and director of the UNC Food Allergy Initiative. "While the allergy does seem to go away with age, it can last into the second decade of life for most people. Any treatment that can allow the introduction of egg into the diet of someone with egg allergy provides nutritional benefits and peace of mind for the patient and their family."
 
Source: University of North Carolina Health Care

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