Oral immunotherapy for patients with egg allergy

New York: Oral immunotherapy may be a promising treatment for people suffering from egg allergy, according to a clinical trial. After completing up to four years of egg oral immunotherapy treatment (eOIT), some people were able to safely incorporate egg into their diet, it showed.

“Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies and usually appears in early childhood. It has significant risk for severe allergic reactions and negatively affects quality of life for children with the allergy,” said Edwin Kim, Assistant Professor at University of North Carolina.

“While the allergy does seem to go away with age, it can last into the second decade of life for most people,” he said.

These findings were presented at the annual American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) conference in San Francisco.

For the study, 55 patients aged 5-11 years were followed for four years and tested for sensitivity to egg. During the treatment, 40 participants received eOIT and 15 the placebo.

At the end of eOIT, 50 per cent of patients were classified with unresponsiveness to concentrated egg (scrambled, fried or boiled egg) and/or baked egg (eggs incorporated into something like a cake).

Twenty-eight per cent of patients were classified desensitised, requiring a higher quantity of egg to cause an allergic reaction, and 22 per cent not desensitised.

“These results further support the effectiveness of eOIT as a safe way of desensitising children and youth with egg allergy,” said Kim.

“Past research also suggests eating egg may actually shorten the amount of time a patient has the allergy. Thus, any amount of egg that is incorporated into an allergy patient’s diet is helpful,” Kim said.