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Keywords:

  • food allergy;
  • hen’s egg;
  • anaphylaxis;
  • skin prick test;
  • end-point skin prick test;
  • IgE;
  • double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge;
  • specific oral tolerance induction

To cite this article: Dello Iacono I, Tripodi S, Calvani M, Panetta V, Verga MC, Miceli Sopo S. Specific oral tolerance induction with raw hen’s egg in children with very severe egg allergy: A randomized controlled trial. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2012: 00.

Abstract

Background:  Treatment of severe egg allergy is avoidance of hen’s egg (HE) and carrying self-injectable epinephrine. Specific oral tolerance induction (SOTI) seems a promising alternative treatment. However, some aspects of SOTI are still considered experimental.

Methods:  We evaluated the efficacy and safety of an original 6-month SOTI protocol in children with very severe HE allergy using raw HE emulsion. Twenty children (age range: 5–11 yr) were randomized equally into a SOTI treatment group and a control group. The treatment group started SOTI and underwent a second challenge 6 months later. Control children were kept on an egg-free diet for 6 months and then underwent a second challenge.

Results:  After 6 months, 9/10 children of the SOTI group (90%) achieved partial tolerance (at least 10 ml, but <40 ml of raw HE emulsion, in a single dose) and 1 (10%) was able to tolerate only 5 ml (no tolerance). After 6 months, nine control children tested positive to the second challenge at a dose ≤0.9 ml of raw HE emulsion, and one reacted to 1.8 ml (SOTI vs. control group p < 0.0001). All children in the SOTI group had side effects, but no child had a grade 5 reaction according to the Sampson grading.

Conclusion:  Six months of SOTI with raw HE emulsion resulted in partial tolerance, with regular intake, in a significant percentage of children with severe egg allergy.