children overcome egg allergy by the time they reach their fifth birthday but
some remain allergic to eggs throughout their lives.
is widely used in baked goods, sauce, spaghetti, candies, meatloaf, noodle
soups, mayonnaise, processed meats, etc. The best advice for people allergic to
eggs is to read all labels for foods, medicines, cosmetics, creams and
ointments that may contain any type or amount of egg.
Burks and colleagues had conducted a trial that was published in New England
Journal of Medicine, 2012, to assess the role of oral immunotherapy in
benefitting young children with egg allergy.
trial was conducted by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious
Diseases (NIAID)-supported Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) at
clinical sites in Baltimore, Chapel Hill, N.C., Denver, Little Rock, Ark., and
New York City.
researchers conducted a study involving 55 children with egg allergy. The children
were aged between 5 to 11 years. Out of 55 children, 40 of them were given
egg-white powder as oral immunotherapy and 15 children were given cornstarch
powder for 14 months. The children then took part in a food challenge where
they consumed increasing quantities of allergenic food under proper medical
supervision. The food challenge test helps in assessing at what level the
person experiences adverse allergic symptoms.
Sicherer, MD, Professor of Pediatrics and Chief of the Division of Allergy and
Immunology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine said, "After 10 months of
therapy, 55 percent of those who received oral immunotherapy passed the oral
food challenge and were considered to be desensitized, compared to none of
those on placebo."
further added, "After 22 months, 75 percent of children in the
oral-immunotherapy group were desensitized, meaning with their daily dose they
could ingest much more egg than before."
28 percent of children in the oral-immunotherapy successfully passed the food
challenge at 24 months. No longer did they have any egg allergy.
Sampson, MD, Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences, Professor of
Pediatrics, and Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at Mount Sinai
School of Medicine, mentioned, "We found that oral immunotherapy provides
protection in a majority of children with egg allergy by raising the reaction
He added, "It represents a promising therapeutic
intervention for food allergy and the approach is relatively safe, with most of
the reactions to dosing categorized as mild."
was noted that due to significant clinical reactions around 15 percent of
children receiving oral immunotherapy did not take the entire therapy.
Sampson stated, "For oral immunotherapy to be recommended as a standard of
care, it will be important to better define the risks of oral immunotherapy
versus avoiding the food the child is allergic to, and determine the correct
dosing regimens with the most favorable outcomes."
researchers said that it was essential to identify the patients who are likely
to be benefitted from the oral immunotherapy, and formulate policies and
strategies for promoting long-term tolerance.
was thus concluded that oral immunotherapy resulted in providing safety and
protection to children against egg allergy by raising reaction threshold.
Oral Immunotherapy for Treatment of Egg Allergy
in Children; Wesley Burks et al; N Engl J Med 2012; 367:233-243