Immunologic features of infants with milk or egg allergy enrolled in an observational study (CoFAR) of food allergy

Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Food Allergy Institute, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029-6574, USA.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology (Impact Factor: 11.48). 05/2010; 125(5):1077-1083.e8. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaci.2010.02.038
Source: PubMed


Immune features of infants with food allergy have not been delineated.
We sought to explore the basic mechanisms responsible for food allergy and identify biomarkers, such as skin prick test (SPT) responses, food-specific IgE levels, and mononuclear cell responses, in a cohort of infants with likely milk/egg allergy at increased risk of peanut allergy.
Infants aged 3 to 15 months were enrolled with a positive SPT response to milk or egg and either a corresponding convincing clinical history of allergy to milk or egg or moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis. Infants with known peanut allergy were excluded.
Overall, 512 infants (67% male) were studied, with 308 (60%) having a history of a clinical reaction. Skin test responses, detectable food-specific IgE, or both revealed sensitization as follows: milk, 78%; egg, 89%; and peanut, 69%. SPT responses and food-specific IgE levels were discrepant for peanut (15% for IgE > or = 0.35 kU(A)/L and negative SPT response vs 8% for positive SPT response and IgE <0.35 kU(A)/L, P = .001). Mononuclear cell allergen stimulation screening for CD25, cytokine-inducible SH2-containing protein (CISH), forkhead box protein 3 (FOXP3), GATA3, IL10, IL4, IFNG, and T-box transcription factor (TBET) expression by using casein, egg white, and peanut revealed that only allergen-induced IL4 expression was significantly increased in those with clinical allergy to milk (compared with nonallergic subjects) and in those sensitized to peanut, despite the absence of an increase in GATA3 mRNA expression.
Infants with likely milk/egg allergy are at considerably high risk of having increased peanut-specific IgE levels (potential allergy). Peanut-specific serum IgE levels were a more sensitive indicator of sensitization than SPT responses. Allergen-specific IL4 expression might be a marker of allergic risk. Absence of an increase in GATA3 mRNA expression suggests that allergen-specific IL-4 might not be of T-cell origin.

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Available from: Wayne Shreffler, May 06, 2014
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    • "Of this number, 471 publications were excluded for the criteria stated above (predominantly the geographic restriction), which yielded 44 publications for review. One additional publication [12] not identified through the search, presumably because it had not been coded as either a “clinical trial” or a “longitudinal study” on PubMed, was added since it met the search parameters. Manual review of the methods sections of these 45 publications to confirm description of skin testing, predominantly as “skin prick testing (SPT)”, lead to the elimination of an additional 5 papers that did not specify that skin testing was performed. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Skin prick/puncture testing (SPT) is widely accepted as a safe, dependable, convenient, and cost-effective procedure to detect allergen-specific IgE sensitivity. It is, however, prone to influence by a variety of factors that may significantly alter test outcomes, affect the accuracy of diagnosis, and the effectiveness of subsequent immunotherapy regimens. Proficiency in SPT administration is a key variable that can be routinely measured and documented to improve the predictive value of allergy skin testing. Methods Literature surveys were conducted to determine the adherence to repeated calls for development and implementation of proficiency testing standards in the 1990’s, the mid-2000’s and the 2008 allergy diagnostics practice parameters. Results Authors publishing clinical research in peer-reviewed journals and conducting workshops at annual scientific meetings have recommended proficiency testing based primarily on its potential to reduce variability, minimize confounding test results, and promote more effective immunotherapeutic treatments. Very few publications of clinical studies, however, appear to report proficiency testing data for SPT performance. Allergen immunotherapy recommendations are updated periodically by the Joint Task Force on Practice Parameters representing the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), and the Joint Council of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (JCAAI). Conclusions Despite consensus that all staff who perform SPT should meet basic quality assurance standards that demonstrate their SPT proficiency, the gap between recommendations and daily practice persists. By embracing standards, the accuracy of SPT and allergy diagnosis can be optimized, ultimately benefiting patients with allergic disease.
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