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News tips from the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Date:2/28/2010

EASING EGG ALLERGIES WITH EGGS
Oral immunotherapy study at Hopkins Children's shows it works
***** Embargoed for release until 12 noon EST, Sunday, Feb. 28*****

Children with egg allergies who consume increasingly higher doses of egg protein the very nutrient they react to appear to gradually overcome their allergies, tolerating eggs better over time and with milder symptoms, according to research conducted at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and elsewhere.

The findings from a multi-center trial are to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Feb. 26 through March 2.

Previous research at Hopkins Children's showed that the same approach, known as oral immunotherapy, can be used successfully to treat children with milk allergies. Some of the children in the milk allergy study overcame their condition completely, and many experienced less severe allergic symptoms as a result of the therapy.

Now, researchers are reporting similarly encouraging results in children with egg allergies.

"Just as we saw in our patients with milk allergies before, oral immunotherapy for children with egg allergies works in the same way by slowly retraining the immune system to tolerate the allergens that caused allergic reactions," says study investigator Robert Wood, M.D., director of Allergy & Immunology at Hopkins Children's.

Researchers caution that confirming these early results requires long-term monitoring of the current patients and enrolling more children in the ongoing trials. They also caution that oral immunotherapy should be implemented only by a trained pediatric allergist.

In the 11-month study of 45 children ages 5 to 18, researchers gave 40 patients increasingly higher doses of egg whites during multiple food challenges conducted in a clinic and under a doctor's supervision, while 15 children received placebo, "dummy" food that looks li
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Contact: Ekaterina Pesheva
epeshev1@jhmi.edu
410-516-4996
Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
Source:Eurekalert

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