June 1, 2022
A National Institutes of Health-funded study has found that people with food allergies are less likely to become infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, than people without them. In addition, while previous research identified obesity as a risk factor for severe COVID-19, the new study has identified obesity and high body mass index (BMI) as associated with increased risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection. In contrast, the study determined that asthma does not increase risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection.
January 20, 2022
A clinical trial funded by the National Institutes of Health has found that giving peanut oral immunotherapy to highly peanut-allergic children ages 1 to 3 years safely desensitized most of them to peanut and induced remission of peanut allergy in one-fifth. The immunotherapy consisted of a daily oral dose of peanut flour for 2.5 years. Remission was defined as being able to eat 5 grams of peanut protein, equivalent to 1.5 tablespoons of peanut butter, without having an allergic reaction six months after completing immunotherapy.
March 19, 2021
A study to identify prenatal and early childhood markers of high risk for food allergy and atopic dermatitis, or eczema, as well as biological pathways that lead to these conditions, has begun. The observational study of children from birth to age 3 years will examine the origins of allergic disease by integrating interdisciplinary analyses of data from more than 260 biological and environmental samples and survey responses from each of 2,500 families.
November 4, 2019
Investigators at the National Institutes of Health have found that sesame allergy is common among children with other food allergies, occurring in an estimated 17% of this population. In addition, the scientists have found that sesame antibody testing—whose utility has been controversial—accurately predicts whether a child with food allergy is allergic to sesame. The research was published on Oct. 28 in the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology.
September 12, 2019
Allergy to peanut, which is often severe, is one of the most common food allergies in the United States. Although previous studies have shown that peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT)—ingesting small, controlled amounts of peanut protein—can desensitize adults and children and prevent life-threatening allergic reactions, the optimal duration and dose is unknown. In a study that followed participants after OIT successfully desensitized them to peanut, discontinuing OIT or continuing OIT at a reduced dose led to a decline in its protective effects.
August 1, 2019
Allergies can be life-threatening when they cause anaphylaxis, an extreme reaction with constriction of the airways and a sudden drop in blood pressure. Scientists have identified a subtype of immune cell that drives the production of antibodies associated with anaphylaxis and other allergic reactions. The research was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and reveals a potential target for new therapies to prevent severe allergic reactions.
August 1, 2019
Though food allergy affects more than 4.8 million children in the United States, no approved preventative treatments currently exist. While experimental desensitization strategies are available in research settings, people with food allergies must avoid known allergens and are advised to carry injectable epinephrine to prevent potentially life-threatening allergic reactions caused by accidental exposures. To help alleviate this risk, a new study to evaluate an experimental treatment for food allergy launched today.
April 23, 2019
Scratching the skin triggers a series of immune responses culminating in an increased number of activated mast cells—immune cells involved in allergic reactions—in the small intestine, according to research conducted in mice. This newly identified skin-gut communication helps illuminate the relationship between food allergy and atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema), a disease characterized by dry, itchy skin.
February 20, 2019
Atopic dermatitis, a common inflammatory skin condition also known as allergic eczema, affects nearly 20 percent of children, 30 percent of whom develop food allergies. Scientists have now found that children with both atopic dermatitis and food allergy have structural and molecular differences in the top layers of healthy-looking skin near the eczema lesions, whereas children with atopic dermatitis alone do not.
January 14, 2019
New research suggests that the gut microbiome may help prevent the development of cow’s milk allergy. Scientists at the University of Chicago found that gut microbes from healthy human infant donors transplanted into mice protected animals exposed to milk from experiencing allergic reactions, while gut microbes transplanted from infants allergic to milk did not. The work, described online today in Nature Medicine, was supported in part by NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.