Background - BSACI


Immunotherapy for food allergies has been described for many years with the first report of successful egg desensitisation published in the Lancet in 1908. Whilst current best practice focuses on strict avoidance, food immunotherapy has recently become the domain of multiple international clinical trials and advanced allergy management. Most immunotherapy studies to date have concentrated on milk, egg and peanut in patients with IgE-mediated challenge-confirmed food allergies. The aim of this practice is to increase the threshold of reactivity to an individual food. This allows individuals to consume traces of allergen and to theoretically reduce their risk of severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions following inadvertent exposure. In this way, immunotherapy helps diminish the fear and anxiety associated with food allergies and potentially improves quality of life. It is important to remember that sustained unresponsiveness, where a food allergy is entirely outgrown, is seldom achieved, especially in older individuals. As such, for the vast majority of individuals, food immunotherapy is not a cure but a state of temporary unresponsiveness dependent upon regular exposure.


Project Manager for National Allergy Strategy

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