Allergy Abstract Update: Future therapies and Diagnosis for food allergies


J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2011 Mar;127(3):558-73; quiz 574-5. Epub 2011 Jan 31.

Future therapies for food allergies.

Nowak-Węgrzyn A, Sampson HA.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine, Pediatric Allergy and Immunology, Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, New York, NY 10029, USA.


Food allergy is an increasingly prevalent problem in westernized countries, and there is an unmet medical need for an effective form of therapy. A number of therapeutic strategies are under investigation targeting foods that most frequently provoke severe IgE-mediated anaphylactic reactions (peanut, tree nuts, and shellfish) or are most common in children, such as cow’s milk and hen’s egg. Approaches being pursued are both food allergen specific and nonspecific. Allergen-specific approaches include oral, sublingual, and epicutaneous immunotherapy (desensitization) with native food allergens and mutated recombinant proteins, which have decreased IgE-binding activity, coadministered within heat-killed Escherichia coli to generate maximum immune response. Diets containing extensively heated (baked) milk and egg represent an alternative approach to food oral immunotherapy and are already changing the paradigm of strict dietary avoidance for patients with food allergy. Nonspecific approaches include monoclonal anti-IgE antibodies, which might increase the threshold dose for food allergen in patients with food allergy, and a Chinese herbal formulation, which prevented peanut-induced anaphylaxis in a murine model and is currently being investigated in clinical trials. The variety of strategies for treating food allergy increases the likelihood of success and gives hope that accomplishing an effective therapy for food allergy is within reach.



J Immunol Methods. 2012 Mar 4. [Epub ahead of print]

Diagnostic oral food challenges: Procedures and biomarkers.

Järvinen KM, Sicherer SH.

Source : Albany Medical College, Division of Allergy and Immunology & Center for Immunology and Microbial Diseases,  United States.


Oral food challenge (OFC) is the gold standard for the diagnosis of food allergy. They are conducted to confirm whether an allergy to food exists (initial challenge) or to monitor for resolution of a food allergy. The history of an immediate allergic reaction, when supported by positive tests for specific IgE antibodies to the suspect food, is often sufficient to establish a diagnosis without OFC. Additionally, higher concentrations of food-specific IgE or larger allergy prick skin test wheal sizes correlate with an increased likelihood of a reaction upon ingestion. Although these food-specific IgE tests are helpful biomarkers of allergy, their limited sensitivity and specificity often necessitates the use of OFC to establish reactivity. Furthermore, the pathogenesis of non-IgE-mediated food allergy, such as food protein-induced enterocolitis (FPIES) or proctocolitis and food allergy due to mixed IgE and non-IgE mediated processes, such as atopic dermatitis or eosinophilic gastroenteropathies may not be assessable with specific IgE tests, also warranting OFCs. This review provides an overview on the technique and interpretation of OFCs, use of food-specific testing to predict whether OFC is warranted and to predict OFC outcomes. Additionally, biomarkers that correlate with OFC outcomes will be discussed, as well as future diagnostic tests promising better predictive value.


Clin Transl Allergy. 2012 Mar 9;2(1):5. [Epub ahead of print]

FAST: Towards safe and effective subcutaneous immunotherapy of persistent life-threatening food allergies.

Zuidmeer-Jongejan L, Fernandez-Rivas M, Poulsen LK, Neubauer A, Asturias J, Blom L, Boye J, Bindslev-Jensen C, Clausen M, Ferrara R, Garosi P, Huber H, Jensen BM, Koppelman S, Kowalski ML, Lewandowska-Polak A, Linhart B, Maillere B, Mari A, Martinez A, Mills CE, Nicoletti C, Opstelten DJ, Papadopoulos NG, Portoles A, Rigby N, Scala E, Schnoor HJ, Sigursdottir S, Stavroulakis G, Stolz F, Swoboda I, Valenta R, van den Hout R, Versteeg SA, Witten M, van Ree R.


ABSTRACT: The FAST project (Food Allergy Specific Immunotherapy) aims at the development of safe and effective treatment of food allergies, targeting prevalent, persistent and severe allergy to fish and peach. Classical allergen-specific immunotherapy (SIT), using subcutaneous injections with aqueous food extracts may be effective but has proven to be accompanied by too many anaphylactic side-effects. FAST aims to develop a safe alternative by replacing food extracts with hypoallergenic recombinant major allergens as the active ingredients of SIT. Both severe fish and peach allergy are caused by a single major allergen, parvalbumin (Cyp c 1) and lipid transfer protein (Pru p 3), respectively. Two approaches are being evaluated for achieving hypoallergenicity, i.e. site-directed mutagenesis and chemical modification. The most promising hypoallergens will be produced under GMP conditions. After pre-clinical testing (toxicology testing and efficacy in mouse models), SCIT with alum-absorbed hypoallergens will be evaluated in phase I/IIa and IIb randomized double-blind placebo-controlled (DBPC) clinical trials, with the DBPC food challenge as primary read-out. To understand the underlying immune mechanisms in depth serological and cellular immune analyses will be performed, allowing identification of novel biomarkers for monitoring treatment efficacy. FAST aims at improving the quality of life of food allergic patients by providing a safe and effective treatment that will significantly lower their threshold for fish or peach intake, thereby decreasing their anxiety and dependence on rescue medication.



J Food Sci. 2011 Nov;76(9):T218-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02407.x.

Sandwich enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for detection of cashew nut in foods.

Gaskin FE, Taylor SL.


Authors are with Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, Dept. of Food Science & Technology, Univ. of Nebraska, 143 Food Industry Complex, Lincoln, NE 68583-0919, U.S.A. Direct inquiries to author Taylor (E-mail:


The presence of undeclared cashew can pose a health risk to cashew-allergic consumers. The food industry has the responsibility to declare the presence of cashews on packaged foods even when trace residues are or might be present. The objective of this study was to develop a rapid, sensitive, and specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for the detection of cashew residues. Raw and roasted cashews were defatted and used separately to immunize sheep, goats, and rabbits. The cashew ELISA was developed using sheep and rabbit polyclonal anti-roasted cashew sera as capture and detector reagents, respectively, with visualization through an alkaline phosphatase-mediated substrate reaction. The cashew ELISA was shown to have a limit of quantification of 1 ppm (1 μg cashew/g). The ELISA was highly specific except that substantial cross-reactivity was noted with pistachio and a lesser degree of cross-reactivity was noted with hazelnut. The performance of the ELISA was assessed by manufacturing cookies, ice cream, and milk chocolate with added known amounts (0 to 1000 ppm) of cashew. The mean percent recoveries for ice cream, cookies, and milk chocolate were 118%± 2.9%, 84.3%± 4.0%, and 104%± 3.0%, respectively. In a limited retail survey, 4/5 retail samples with cashew declared on ingredient labels tested positive for cashew compared to 5/36 samples of foods with precautionary labels indicating the possible presence of one or more tree nuts and 0/18 samples without cashew declared on the label in any manner. The cashew ELISA can be used to detect undeclared cashew residue in foods and as a potential tool for the food industry to assess the effectiveness of allergen control strategies and to guarantee compliance with food labeling regulatory requirements.


Cell Immunol. 2012 Feb 6. [Epub ahead of print]

Allergen-specific responses of CD19(+)CD5(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory B cells (Bregs) and CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cell (Tregs) in immune tolerance of cow milk allergy of late eczematous reactions.

Noh J, Noh G, Kim HS, Kim AR, Choi WS.

Source: Department of Animal Biotechnology, College of Animal Bioscience & Technology, Konkuk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Foxp3-expressing cells among CD19(+)CD5(+) B cells were identified as regulatory B cells. Food allergy manifesting as late eczematous reactions is regarded as a non-IgE-mediated food allergy. The diagnosis for milk allergy manifesting as late eczematous reactions was made on the basis of the findings obtained from a double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge in patients with atopic dermatitis. Twelve patients with milk allergy and 12 patients who could tolerate milk were selected. On casein stimulation, the CD19(+)CD5(+)Foxp3(+) B cell (Breg) fraction in CD5(+) B cells decreased from 4.4±1.1% to 3.1±0.7% (P=0.047, n=12) in the milk allergy group and increased from 4.4±1.3% to 5.2±1.4% (P=0.001, n=10) in the milk-tolerant group. On the other hand, on allergen stimulation, the number of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the milk allergy group and milk-tolerant group increased from 2.6±0.7% to 3.4±0.6% (P=0.014, n=9) and from 2.7±1.0% to 3.5±1.0% (P=0.038, n=10), respectively. In conclusion, allergen-specific responses of Bregs, rather than those of Tregs, seem to influence the immune responses (i.e., allergy or tolerance) to a food allergen.



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Yudhasmara Foundation


Clinical and Editor in Chief :

Dr Widodo Judarwanto, pediatrician email :, Curiculum Vitae

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Copyright © 2012, Children Allergy Clinic Online Information Education Network. All rights reserved


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