PURPOSE OF THE STUDY.
Egg allergy is 1 of the most common food allergies in children. This study aims to investigate a method to desensitize egg-allergic patients so that they can develop long-lasting oral tolerance to egg proteins.
Twenty-nine egg-allergic patients (ages 1–5.5 years) from 3 study sites in Europe (Greece, Switzerland, and Italy). These patients had positive testing to egg via either in vitro or skin prick testing as well as had a reaction during an oral food challenge.
This was a double-blind placebo-controlled randomized study using well-characterized, low-allergenic hydrolyzed egg for oral immunotherapy. Subjects were randomized 1:1 to receive 9 ± 1 g study product or placebo daily for 6 months. An oral food challenge was conducted at the end of the study. Immunologic parameters were assessed at baseline and at the end of the study.
Upon completion of the study, the rate of success in an oral food challenge to a boiled egg was no different between treatment groups (36% active vs 21% placebo, P = .66). There was no significant difference observed for egg-specific IgE levels, but a significant increase in egg-specific IgG4 was seen in the study group.
The well-characterized, low-allergenic hydrolyzed egg product was found to be safe for use in children with egg allergy. A longer treatment duration and/or higher dose may be needed for clinical efficacy.
This study offers a potentially safer product for use in oral immunotherapy to egg because there were no differences in type or severity of adverse effects between treatment groups. It is conceivable that with a longer study period and perhaps dosage adjustments, clinical improvement may be seen. Given the rate of food allergies and the burden of daily management on families, it will be important to see what continued investigation in this topic will bring to light because it may help treat the allergy and assuage parental fears.
- Copyright © 2017 by the American Academy of Pediatrics