Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


From Hopkins: Children may outgrow peanut allergies


Parents whose kids are allergic to peanuts may be relieved to know that it’s possible their children could outgrow their allergy over time.

In a study of 80 children ages 4 to 14 with well-documented peanut allergies, researchers at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and Arkansas Children’s Hospital found that some children completely lost their potentially serious or life-threatening allergy to peanuts, and that among those who did, there was a low risk of allergy recurrence. The findings are published in the July issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

"Although we once thought peanut allergy was a lifelong problem, we now believe certain children, namely those with low levels of allergy antibodies, may outgrow it," said senior author Robert Wood, M.D., a pediatric allergist and immunologist at the Children’s Center. "Because of these findings, and the tremendous burden peanut allergies can cause for children and their families, I recommend that children with peanut allergy be retested on a regular basis, every one or two years."

The researchers found that children were more likely to outgrow their peanut allergy if they had low levels (less than 5 kilounits of antibody per liter) of peanut-specific IgE, the antibodies produced by the immune system that cause allergic reactions. These antibodies can be measured with a blood test that is widely available. Although a high level of peanut IgE (more than 5 to 10 kilounits) is typically associated with a clinical allergic reaction, it is not possible to predict the severity of the reaction simply based on IgE levels alone.

The 80 children in the study, all of whom had IgE levels of 5 or less, underwent an oral peanut challenge, a common allergy diagnostic tool in which subjects are fed peanut products in a safe clinical setting and watched carefully for symptoms, such as hives, coughing, difficulty breathing or vomiting. Wood notes that while the findings confirm the value of performing such food challenges, they should only be done under a physician’s supervision.

More than half of the children -- including those who had "failed" a previous peanut challenge and those with a history of severe, life-threatening reactions -- tolerated the challenge and were therefore considered to have outgrown the condition.

Researchers also followed up with 64 children who "passed" peanut challenges in both this and a previous Hopkins study to determine current peanut eating habits and the possibility of allergy recurrence. Almost all of the children had eaten peanuts since their challenge, mostly infrequently and in small amounts. Two of these children had suspicious reactions to peanut ingestion, meaning their peanut allergy may have returned.

"Although recurrence of peanut allergy appears to be uncommon, we believe the risk of recurrence may be higher among those who do not consume enough peanuts to maintain their tolerance level. However, further study is needed to determine whether this is true, and whether ’outgrowers’ should be encouraged to eat a certain amount of peanut," said Wood. Parents should always seek medical evaluation and guidance before giving peanuts to a child who may have outgrown the allergy, he added.

Experts say peanut allergies, which affect approximately 1 percent to 2 percent of young children and 1.5 million Americans overall, are on the rise. The allergy can be triggered by as little as 1/1000th of a peanut and is the leading cause of anaphylaxis, the life-threatening allergic reaction that can constrict airways in the lungs, severely lowers blood pressure, and causes swelling of the tongue or throat and sometimes death.

Co-authors of the study were David Fleischer and Mary Kay Conover-Walker of the Children’s Center Division of Immunology and Allergy; and Lynn Christie and A. Wesley Burks of Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, the Eudowood Foundation for the Consumptives of Maryland, and the Myra Reinhard Family Foundation.

Jessica Collins | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

nachricht New study from the University of Halle: How climate change alters plant growth
12.01.2018 | Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

TRAPPIST-1 planets provide clues to the nature of habitable worlds

21.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

The search for dark matter widens

21.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Natural enemies reduce pesticide use

21.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>