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    ABSTRACT: The management of peanut allergy relies on allergen avoidance and epinephrine autoinjector for rescue treatment in patients at risk of anaphylaxis. Biomarkers of severity and threshold of allergic reactions to peanut could significantly improve the care for patients with peanut allergy. We sought to assess the utility of the basophil activation test (BAT) to predict the severity and threshold of reactivity to peanut during oral food challenges (OFCs). The severity of the allergic reaction and the threshold dose during OFCs to peanut were determined. Skin prick tests, measurements of specific IgE to peanut and its components, and BATs to peanut were performed on the day of the challenge. Of the 124 children submitted to OFCs to peanut, 52 (median age, 5 years) reacted with clinical symptoms that ranged from mild oral symptoms to anaphylaxis. Severe reactions occurred in 41% of cases, and 57% reacted to 0.1 g or less of peanut protein. The ratio of the percentage of CD63(+) basophils after stimulation with peanut and after stimulation with anti-IgE (CD63 peanut/anti-IgE) was independently associated with severity (P = .001), whereas the basophil allergen threshold sensitivity CD-sens (1/EC50 × 100, where EC50 is half maximal effective concentration) value was independently associated with the threshold (P = .020) of allergic reactions to peanut during OFCs. Patients with CD63 peanut/anti-IgE levels of 1.3 or greater had an increased risk of severe reactions (relative risk, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.8-6.2). Patients with a CD-sens value of 84 or greater had an increased risk of reacting to 0.1 g or less of peanut protein (relative risk, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3-2.8). Basophil reactivity is associated with severity and basophil sensitivity is associated with the threshold of allergic reactions to peanut. CD63 peanut/anti-IgE and CD-sens values can be used to estimate the severity and threshold of allergic reactions during OFCs. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 01/2015; 135(1):179-86.
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    ABSTRACT: This review summarizes current evidence and recommendations regarding cow's milk allergy (CMA), the most common food allergy in young children, for the primary and secondary care providers. The diagnostic approach includes performing a medical history, physical examination, diagnostic elimination diets, skin prick tests, specific IgE measurements, and oral food challenges. Strict avoidance of the offending allergen is the only therapeutic option. Oral immunotherapy is being studied, but it is not yet recommended for routine clinical practice. For primary prevention of allergy, exclusive breastfeeding for at least 4 months and up to 6 months is desirable. Infants with a documented hereditary risk of allergy (i.e., an affected parent and/or sibling) who cannot be breastfed exclusively should receive a formula with confirmed reduced allergenicity, i.e., a partially or extensively hydrolyzed formula, as a means of preventing allergic reactions, primarily atopic dermatitis. Avoidance or delayed introduction of solid foods beyond 4-6 months for allergy prevention is not recommended. Conclusion: For all of those involved in taking care of children's health, it is important to understand the multifaceted aspects of CMA, such as its epidemiology, presentation, diagnosis, and dietary management, as well as its primary prevention.
    European Journal of Pediatrics 09/2014; · 1.98 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Food challenge tests are the gold standard in diagnosing food allergy. Guidelines provide scoring systems to classify symptoms during challenge and typically recommend that challenges are considered positive when objective symptoms occur. However, currently no standard criteria for the definition of a positive challenge outcome exists and interpretation of food challenges mainly depends on clinical judgment. This study aims to assess inter- and intra-observer variability in outcomes of routinely performed peanut challenges in children. All complete food challenge score sheets of double blind placebo controlled peanut challenges performed in 2008-2010 in an academic hospital were included. Score sheets were reassessed independently by three clinical experts including double reassessment in a subset of score sheets. Inter- and intra-observer variability was evaluated using kappa statistics. We included 191 food challenge score sheets. Inter-observer agreement on overall challenge outcome was moderate (κ = 0.59-0.65) and was fair (κ = 0.31-0.46) on challenges with symptoms. Intra-observer agreement on overall challenge outcome was good (κ = 0.63-0.77) but was moderate (κ = 0.50-0.60) on challenges with symptoms. Subjective symptoms (oral symptoms, abdominal complaints, food aversion) were significantly associated with disagreement between observers. We demonstrate that, despite strict adherence to guidelines, there is a considerable amount of variability in reassessment of symptoms recorded on food challenges sheets between and within well trained clinicians, especially when subjective symptoms occur.
    Clinical and translational allergy. 12/2014; 4(1):43.

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