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Food Allergy

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NIAID’s Role in Addressing Food Allergy

NIAID supports basic research in allergy and immunology that provides an increasingly better understanding of the immune system and how, in certain people, foods elicit an allergic reaction that can sometimes be severe. Institute-funded clinical trials are attempting to alter the body's immune response so that food no longer triggers allergic reactions.

The following are goals of NIAID-supported food allergy research:

  • Understand how certain foods cause allergic reactions
  • Understand what factors influence the severity of allergic reactions
  • Develop immune-based therapies to prevent the development of food allergy and to treat food-allergic reactions
  • Determine whether treatments that induce tolerance are the safest and most effective therapies for food allergy

In December 2010, comprehensive guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy were published. The guidelines provide allergists and immunologists, gastroenterologists, dermatologists and pulmonologists, and other healthcare professionals with recommendations on the best ways to identify food allergy and help people manage this condition, even the most severe forms. NIAID helped lead the guidelines effort, working with 34 professional organizations, patient advocacy groups, and federal agencies. Read about the Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States.

Read more about food allergy research in the NIAID Laboratory of Allergic Diseases.

Last Updated May 02, 2011