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Immunology in the Clinic Review Series; focus on allergies: immunotherapy for food allergy.

Author(s): Mousallem T, Burks AW.

Affiliation(s): Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.

Publication date & source: 2012, Clin Exp Immunol. , 167(1):26-31

There is no approved therapy for food allergy. The current standard of care is elimination of the triggering food from the diet and accessibility to epinephrine. Immunotherapy is a promising treatment approach. While desensitization to most foods seems feasible, it remains unclear if a permanent state of tolerance is achievable. The research team at Duke is pioneering immunotherapy for food allergies. Work here has evolved over time from small open-label pilot studies to larger randomized designs. Our data show that immunological changes associated with immunotherapy include reduction in mast cell reactivity, decreased basophil responses, decreased specific-immunoglobulin (Ig)E, increased IgG4 and induction of regulatory T cells. Immunotherapy has generated much excitement in the food allergy community; however, further studies are needed before it is ready for clinical use.

Page last updated: 2013-02-10

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