There is no approved therapy for food allergy. The current standard of care consists of:
- elimination of the triggering food from the diet
- accessibility to epinephrine
Immunotherapy for food allergy is a promising treatment approach. While desensitization to most foods seems feasible, it remains unclear if a permanent state of tolerance is achievable.
The Duke University data show that immunological changes associated with immunotherapy include:
- reduction in mast cell reactivity
- decreased basophil responses
- decreased specific-immunoglobulin (Ig)E
- increased IgG4
- induction of regulatory T cells
Mechanisms of allergen-specific immunotherapy (click to enlarge the image):
Immunotherapy has generated much excitement in the food allergy community; however, further studies are needed before it is ready for clinical use.
Immunology in the Clinic Review Series; focus on allergies: immunotherapy for food allergy.
Mousallem T, Burks AW. Clin Exp Immunol. 2012 Jan;167(1):26-31. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2249.2011.04499.x.
Oral immunotherapy (OIT) for food allergy - Twitter summary from 2012 #AAAAI meeting