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Advances in food allergy

Food allergy can be lifestyle changing and as a leading cause of anaphylaxis it can also be life-threatening. The incidence of food allergy in children aged 0-5 is thought to have doubled in the last 10 years, and continues to affect millions of adults.

Awareness and diagnosis of food allergy as well as effective management and treatment for sufferers is imperative in order to prevent life-threatening events. Key areas of focus to aid further understanding of food hypersensitivity as well as to help provide improved support for patients include: epidemiology of food allergy; diagnosis, from clinical to molecular; mechanisms involved in sensitisation; allergy manifestations and tolerance; predictive factors; active treatment options both allergen-specific and non allergen-specific.

This cross-journal collection brings together the findings published in BioMed Central's allergy journals. We hope that this coordinated focus on food allergy will help to raise awareness and stimulate interest within the community.

 Image: courtesy of dcastor, creative commons

  1. Research

    Nutritional behavior and attitudes in food allergic children and their mothers

    Avoidance of food allergens requires adapting dietetic habits, changing nutritional approach. A restriction of food choice can result in a monotonous diet and impact social life. This study investigated the im...

    Laura Polloni, Alice Toniolo, Francesca Lazzarotto, Ileana Baldi, Francesca Foltran, Dario Gregori and Antonella Muraro

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:41

    Published on: 10 December 2013

  2. Review

    A global survey of changing patterns of food allergy burden in children

    While food allergies and eczema are among the most common chronic non-communicable diseases in children in many countries worldwide, quality data on the burden of these diseases is lacking, particularly in dev...

    Susan L Prescott, Ruby Pawankar, Katrina J Allen, Dianne E Campbell, John KH Sinn, Alessandro Fiocchi, Motohiro Ebisawa, Hugh A Sampson, Kirsten Beyer and Bee-Wah Lee

    World Allergy Organization Journal 2013 6:21

    Published on: 4 December 2013

  3. Brief communication

    Plasma IL-25 is elevated in a subgroup of patients with clinical reactivity to peanut

    One of the IL-17 family members, IL-25, has been implicated with the initiation and amplification of Th2 responses in animal models and has been associated with airway hyper-reactivity. The involvement of IL-2...

    Joost A Aalberse, Anders O van Thuijl, Yolanda Meijer, Wilco de Jager, Tjitske van der Palen-Merkus, Aline B Sprikkelman, Maarten O Hoekstra, Berent J Prakken and Femke van Wijk

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:40

    Published on: 2 December 2013

  4. Research

    What do school personnel know, think and feel about food allergies?

    The incidence of food allergy is such that most schools will be attended by at least one food allergic child, obliging school personnel to cope with cases at risk of severe allergic reactions. Schools need to ...

    Laura Polloni, Francesca Lazzarotto, Alice Toniolo, Giorgia Ducolin and Antonella Muraro

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:39

    Published on: 25 November 2013

  5. Brief communication

    Elicitors and co-factors in food-induced anaphylaxis in adults

    Food-induced anaphylaxis (FIA) in adults is often insufficiently diagnosed. One reason is related to the presence of co-factors like exercise, alcohol, additives and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The ...

    Stephanie Hompes, Sabine Dölle, Josefine Grünhagen, Linus Grabenhenrich and Margitta Worm

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:38

    Published on: 21 November 2013

  6. Brief communication

    The protein structure determines the sensitizing capacity of Brazil nut 2S albumin (Ber e1) in a rat food allergy model

    It is not exactly known why certain food proteins are more likely to sensitize. One of the characteristics of most food allergens is that they are stable to the acidic and proteolytic conditions in the digesti...

    Jolanda HM Van Bilsen, Léon MJ Knippels, André H Penninks, Willem F Nieuwenhuizen, Harmen HJ De Jongh and Stef J Koppelman

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:36

    Published on: 4 November 2013

  7. Research

    Characteristics and purchasing behaviours of food-allergic consumers and those who buy food for them in Great Britain

    Buying behaviours of food-allergic consumers can affect the risk they incur. An online survey was undertaken to understand the characteristics and buying behaviours of food-allergic consumers in Great Britain ...

    Stella Anne Cochrane, M Hazel Gowland, David Sheffield and René Wilfrid Robert Crevel

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:31

    Published on: 23 September 2013

  8. Research

    Peanut Allergen Threshold Study (PATS): validation of eliciting doses using a novel single-dose challenge protocol

    The eliciting dose (ED) for a peanut allergic reaction in 5% of the peanut allergic population, the ED05, is 1.5 mg of peanut protein. This ED05 was derived from oral food challenges (OFC) that use graded, inc...

    Giovanni A Zurzolo, Katrina J Allen, Steve L Taylor, Wayne G Shreffler, Joseph L Baumert, Mimi L K Tang, Lyle C Gurrin, Michael L Mathai, Julie A Nordlee, Audrey DunnGalvin and Jonathan O’B Hourihane

    Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2013 9:35

    Published on: 12 September 2013

  9. Research

    Health-related quality of life, assessed with a disease-specific questionnaire, in Swedish adults suffering from well-diagnosed food allergy to staple foods

    Our aim was to investigate the factors that affect health related quality of life (HRQL) in adult Swedish food allergic patients objectively diagnosed with allergy to at least one of the staple foods cow’s mil...

    Sven-Arne Jansson, Marianne Heibert-Arnlind, Roelinde JM Middelveld, Ulf J Bengtsson, Ann-Charlotte Sundqvist, Ingrid Kallström-Bengtsson, Birgitta Marklund, Georgios Rentzos, Johanna Åkerström, Eva Östblom, Sven-Erik Dahlén and Staffan Ahlstedt

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:21

    Published on: 1 July 2013

  10. Research

    Experiencing a first food allergic reaction: a survey of parent and caregiver perspectives

    Insufficient knowledge of food allergy and anaphylaxis has been identified by caregivers as an important barrier to coping, and a potential cause of fear and anxiety, particularly for those with children newly...

    Zainab B Abdurrahman, Monika Kastner, Cory Wurman, Laurie Harada, Laura Bantock, Heather Cruickshank and Susan Waserman

    Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2013 9:18

    Published on: 29 May 2013

  11. Research

    Persistence of peanut allergen on a table surface

    A diagnosis of peanut allergy has a major impact on an individual’s quality of life. Exposure to even small amounts of peanut can trigger serious reactions. Common cleaning agents can easily remove peanut alle...

    Wade TA Watson, AnnMarie Woodrow and Andrew W Stadnyk

    Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2013 9:7

    Published on: 18 February 2013

  12. Brief communication

    Inability to detect significant absorption of immunoreactive soya protein in healthy adults may be relevant to its weak allergenicity

    Soya and peanut are botanically closely related and share cross-reacting antigens, but compared to soya, peanut allergy has a higher prevalence with more severe allergic reactions. Furthermore, the threshold d...

    Cecilia M Lund, Christina G Dirks, Mona H Pedersen, Bettina M Jensen and Lars K Poulsen

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2013 3:6

    Published on: 4 February 2013

  13. Research

    The 11S globulin Sin a 2 from yellow mustard seeds shows IgE cross-reactivity with homologous counterparts from tree nuts and peanut

    The 11S globulin Sin a 2 is a marker to predict severity of symptoms in mustard allergic patients. The potential implication of Sin a 2 in cross-reactivity with tree nuts and peanut has not been investigated s...

    Sofía Sirvent, Martial Akotenou, Javier Cuesta-Herranz, Andrea Vereda, Rosalía Rodríguez, Mayte Villalba and Oscar Palomares

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2012 2:23

    Published on: 11 December 2012

  14. Research

    Intact skin and not stripped skin is crucial for the safety and efficacy of peanut epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) in mice

    Epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) on intact skin with an epicutaneous delivery system has already been used in preclinical and clinical studies. In epicutaneous vaccination and immunotherapy, the stripping of ...

    Lucie Mondoulet, Vincent Dioszeghy, Emilie Puteaux, Mélanie Ligouis, Véronique Dhelft, Franck Letourneur, Christophe Dupont and Pierre-Henri Benhamou

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2012 2:22

    Published on: 12 November 2012

  15. Research

    IL-7Rα and L-selectin, but not CD103 or CD34, are required for murine peanut-induced anaphylaxis

    Allergy to peanuts results in severe anaphylactic responses in affected individuals, and has dramatic effects on society and public policy. Despite the health impacts of peanut-induced anaphylaxis (PIA), relat...

    Steven Maltby, Erin J DeBruin, Jami Bennett, Matthew J Gold, Matthew C Tunis, Zhiqi Jian, Jean S Marshall and Kelly M McNagny

    Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2012 8:15

    Published on: 31 August 2012

  16. Research

    Predictive value of IgE/IgG4 antibody ratio in children with egg allergy

    The aim of this study was to investigate the role of specific IgG4 antibodies to hen’s egg white and determine their utility as a marker for the outcome of oral challenge test in children sensitized to hen’s egg

    Shindou Okamoto, Shoichiro Taniuchi, Kyoko Sudo, Yasuko Hatano, Keiji Nakano, Tomohiko Shimo and Kazunari Kaneko

    Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2012 8:9

    Published on: 7 June 2012

    The Erratum to this article has been published in Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2013 9:34

  17. Correspondence

    Can dietary fibre help provide safer food products for sufferers of gluten intolerance? A well-established biophysical probe may help towards providing an answer

    Gluten intolerance is a condition which affects an increasing percentage of the world’s population and for which the only current treatment is a restrictive gluten free diet. However could the inclusion of a p...

    M Samil Kök, Richard Gillis, Shirley Ang, David Lafond, Arthur S Tatham, Gary Adams and Stephen E Harding

    BMC Biophysics 2012 5:10

    Published on: 17 May 2012

  18. Review

    FAST: towards safe and effective subcutaneous immunotherapy of persistent life-threatening food allergies

    The FAST project (Food Allergy Specific Immunotherapy) aims at the development of safe and effective treatment of food allergies, targeting prevalent, persistent and severe allergy to fish and peach. Classical...

    Laurian Zuidmeer-Jongejan, Montserrat Fernandez-Rivas, Lars K Poulsen, Angela Neubauer, Juan Asturias, Lars Blom, Joyce Boye, Carsten Bindslev-Jensen, Michael Clausen, Rosa Ferrara, Paula Garosi, Hans Huber, Bettina M Jensen, Stef Koppelman, Marek L Kowalski, Anna Lewandowska-Polak…

    Clinical and Translational Allergy 2012 2:5

    Published on: 9 March 2012

  19. Review

    Anaphylactic Reactions to Oligosaccharides in Red Meat: a Syndrome in Evolution

    While most allergic responses to food are directed against protein epitopes and occur within 30 minutes of ingesting the allergen, recent studies suggest that delayed reactions may occur, sometimes mediated by...

    Hana Saleh, Scott Embry, Andromeda Nauli, Seif Atyia and Guha Krishnaswamy

    Clinical and Molecular Allergy 2012 10:5

    Published on: 7 March 2012

  20. Research

    No systemic reactions to influenza vaccination in egg-sensitized tertiary-care pediatric patients

    There are numerous, disparate guidelines for influenza vaccination in egg-allergic patients. We aimed to describe the outcome of selectively applied guidelines, based on risk-stratification, to our high risk, ...

    Julia Elizabeth Mainwaring Upton, David Brian Hummel, Anna Kasprzak and Adelle Roberta Atkinson

    Allergy, Asthma & Clinical Immunology 2012 8:2

    Published on: 2 March 2012

  21. Research

    The usefulness of casein-specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies in cow's milk allergic children

    Cow's milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies among younger children. We investigated IgE antibodies to milk, and IgE and IgG4 antibodies to casein, α-lactalbumin and β-lactoglobulin in cow's mil...

    Komei Ito, Masaki Futamura, Robert Movérare, Akira Tanaka, Tsutomu Kawabe, Tatsuo Sakamoto and Magnus P Borres

    Clinical and Molecular Allergy 2012 10:1

    Published on: 2 January 2012