, Volume 11, Issue 4, pp 273-276
Date: 31 Mar 2011

Will We Be Able to Desensitize Food Allergies by Either Injection or Oral Immunotherapy?

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Food allergy is a complex immune response to food proteins. Recent data have suggested that the prevalence of food allergy has doubled over the past decade, and based on estimates from several studies using oral food challenges, approximately 5% of young children and 3% to 4% of adults are affected [1]. However, public perception of food allergy may be much higher [2]. Although any food can trigger an allergic reaction, most reactions are triggered by a limited number of foods. These include milk, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, and fish. Anaphylaxis to foods can cause significant morbidity, and although fatal reactions are rare, they continue to occur [3]. Food allergy is also associated with a significant impact on quality of life and can adversely affect social well-being, including stress related to possible accidental reactions. The conventional wisdom was that 80% of children typically outgrow their food allergy to milk, egg, wheat, and soy by age 5 y ...