By Allergen Bureau

Food Allergy: What Will The Next Decade Bring

The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice has celebrated its first 10 years in 2023. To celebrate, the journal’s editorial team has looked into past and the future, speculating what developments we might expect over the next decade.

The first reports of food-allergic individuals can be found in publications from the turn of the 20th century. And while food allergy desensitization was first reported in 1908, it took almost 100 years to move from passive management (avoidance of the allergen) to a more proactive approach. The last 10 years has seen significant research into better understanding the epidemiology, prevention, and potential treatment of food allergy.

The authors point to the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study, published in 2015, that brought a major shift in food allergy management. Trials at that time showed the early introduction strategy for higher-risk infants was successful not just for peanut but also other allergens such as egg.

However, given that most cases of peanut allergy occur in infants who do not meet the LEAP definition of high risk, earlier introduction at a population level has not been as successful in reducing disease prevalence as might have been expected from the LEAP trial results. Further trials are underway to shed more light in this area.

Further discussion of developments and progress to come in the areas of prevention, diagnostics, management, and more are presented in the article. Reasoning is given for greater focus on measuring improvements in quality of life as well as efficacy in relation to treatments such as desensitisation.

Reference: Turner PJ, Tang MLK, Wood RA. Food Allergy and Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Diseases—The Next 10 Years. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. 2023; 11(1): 72-78. DOI: 10.1016/j.jaip.2022.10.038. Open Access.