Egg Oral Immunotherapy Shows Promise as Treatment

in Food Allergy, Food Allergy News, Milk & Egg
Published: March 15, 2019
Photo: Getty

About half of children who did egg oral immunotherapy (OIT) were able to consume some form of egg five years following the treatment, according to a study presented at AAAAI in late February.

The study enrolled 55 children, between the ages of 5 to 11, allergic to egg. They were put into two groups – 40 participants underwent egg OIT for up to four years, while 15 subjects in a control group received a placebo instead of egg.

Patients who passed oral food challenges and could eat up to two teaspoons of egg without reaction at study completion were considered desensitized. After more egg feeding challenges, the patients were given instructions to add either concentrated egg (scrambled, boiled or fried) or baked egg to their diet over five years. During this period, they were given follow-up questionnaires to track how much and what form of egg they ate, how often and how they felt after eating.

At the completion of the study, about 50 percent of children were considered to have “sustained unresponsiveness” (continued tolerance) to consuming eggs in any form, while 28 percent were classified as desensitized (they could still react at higher levels of egg consumption), and 22 percent were not desensitized.

Of the group of the “sustained tolerance” group, 100 percent were able to consume baked and concentrated egg compared to the desensitized (43 percent), not desensitized (17 percent) and placebo group (36 percent).

Epinephrine was used in three participants after they ate concentrated egg in the desensitized and not desensitized groups.

“This study conveys that egg oral immunotherapy can be a very effective treatment for egg allergies,” said Dr. Robert Wood, AAAAI president and one of the research authors. “Future studies will help us determine who will most benefit from egg oral immunotherapy, especially recognizing that even some patients on placebo were doing well five years later given that some children will naturally outgrow their egg allergy.”

Wood said this information will help “design future studies and monitor the long-term implications of egg oral immunotherapy.”

For full AAAAI 2019 coverage, see here.