A new option for the treatment of peanut allergy?

Published Online: July 25, 2014

Peanut allergy affects up to 1 in 50 children and is the most common cause of life-threatening, food-allergic reactions. Current attempts to treat peanut allergy through desensitization generally involve exposing the child to increasing doses of roasted peanut flour, but this is associated with a significant rate of adverse events.

In a Letter to the Editor recently published in The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI), Turner and colleagues addressed possible mechanisms for their observation that some peanut-allergic children are able to tolerate boiled peanut without experiencing symptoms. They report that boiling resulted in the loss of allergenic proteins, particularly Ara h 2, 6 and 7, from peanut seeds. Furthermore, in three children, tolerance was induced through increasing exposure to boiled peanut, in a manner similar to conventional oral immunotherapy but with minimal adverse events.

The authors highlight that exposure to boiled peanut may permit the ingestion of low amounts of allergenic proteins as an alternative means by which desensitization can be induced, with potential for increased safety. A controlled trial of tolerance induction using boiled peanut in peanut-allergic individuals is planned to investigate this further.

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) is an official scientific journal of the AAAAI, and is the most-cited journal in the field of allergy and clinical immunology.

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