Publications by authors named "Montserrat Fernandez-Rivas"

108 Publications

Allergen immunotherapy and/or biologicals for IgE-mediated food allergy: A systematic review and meta-analysis.

Allergy 2022 Jan 9. Epub 2022 Jan 9.

University of Southampton, London, UK.

Background: There is substantial interest in immunotherapy and biologicals in IgE-mediated food allergy.

Methods: We searched six databases for randomized controlled trials about immunotherapy alone or with biologicals (to April 2021) or biological monotherapy (to September 2021) in food allergy confirmed by oral food challenge. We pooled the data using random-effects meta-analysis.

Results: We included 36 trials about immunotherapy with 2126 mainly child participants. Oral immunotherapy increased tolerance whilst on therapy for peanut (RR 9.9, 95% CI 4.5.-21.4, high certainty); cow's milk (RR 5.7, 1.9-16.7, moderate certainty) and hen's egg allergy (RR 8.9, 4.4-18, moderate certainty). The number needed to treat to increase tolerance to a single dose of 300 mg or 1000 mg peanut protein was 2. Oral immunotherapy did not increase adverse reactions (RR 1.1, 1.0-1.2, low certainty) or severe reactions in peanut allergy (RR 1,6, 0.7-3.5, low certainty), but may increase (mild) adverse reactions in cow's milk (RR 3.9, 2.1-7.5, low certainty) and hen's egg allergy (RR 7.0, 2.4-19.8, moderate certainty). Epicutaneous immunotherapy increased tolerance whilst on therapy for peanut (RR 2.6, 1.8-3.8, moderate certainty). Results were unclear for other allergies and administration routes. There were too few trials of biologicals alone (3) or with immunotherapy (1) to draw conclusions.

Conclusions: Oral immunotherapy improves tolerance whilst on therapy and is probably safe in peanut, cow's milk and hen's egg allergy. More research is needed about quality of life, cost and biologicals.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15211DOI Listing
January 2022

Proposal of 0.5 mg of protein/100 g of processed food as threshold for voluntary declaration of food allergen traces in processed food-A first step in an initiative to better inform patients and avoid fatal allergic reactions: A GA²LEN position paper.

Allergy 2021 Nov 6. Epub 2021 Nov 6.

Section of Allergology and Clinical Immunology, Department of Internal Medicine, Erasmus MC, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Food anaphylaxis is commonly elicited by unintentional ingestion of foods containing the allergen above the tolerance threshold level of the individual. While labeling the 14 main allergens used as ingredients in food products is mandatory in the EU, there is no legal definition of declaring potential contaminants. Precautionary allergen labeling such as "may contain traces of" is often used. However, this is unsatisfactory for consumers as they get no information if the contamination is below their personal threshold. In discussions with the food industry and technologists, it was suggested to use a voluntary declaration indicating that all declared contaminants are below a threshold of 0.5 mg protein per 100 g of food. This concentration is known to be below the threshold of most patients, and it can be technically guaranteed in most food production. However, it was also important to assess that in case of accidental ingestion of contaminants below this threshold by highly allergic patients, no fatal anaphylactic reaction could occur. Therefore, we performed a systematic review to assess whether a fatal reaction to 5mg of protein or less has been reported, assuming that a maximum portion size of 1kg of a processed food exceeds any meal and thus gives a sufficient safety margin.

Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE were searched until 24 January 2021 for provocation studies and case reports in which one of the 14 major food allergens was reported to elicit fatal or life-threatening anaphylactic reactions and assessed if these occurred below the ingestion of 5mg of protein. A Delphi process was performed to obtain an expert consensus on the results.

Results: In the 210 studies included, in our search, no reports of fatal anaphylactic reactions reported below 5 mg protein ingested were identified. However, in provocation studies and case reports, severe reactions below 5 mg were reported for the following allergens: eggs, fish, lupin, milk, nuts, peanuts, soy, and sesame seeds.

Conclusion: Based on the literature studied for this review, it can be stated that cross-contamination of the 14 major food allergens below 0.5 mg/100 g is likely not to endanger most food allergic patients when a standard portion of food is consumed. We propose to use the statement "this product contains the named allergens in the list of ingredients, it may contain traces of other contaminations (to be named, e.g. nut) at concentrations less than 0.5 mg per 100 g of this product" for a voluntary declaration on processed food packages. This level of avoidance of cross-contaminations can be achieved technically for most processed foods, and the statement would be a clear and helpful message to the consumers. However, it is clearly acknowledged that a voluntary declaration is only a first step to a legally binding solution. For this, further research on threshold levels is encouraged.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15167DOI Listing
November 2021

Development and validation of the Food Allergy Severity Score.

Allergy 2021 Oct 30. Epub 2021 Oct 30.

Allergy Department, Hospital Clínico San Carlos, IdISSC, ARADyAL, Madrid, Spain.

Background: The heterogeneity and lack of validation of existing severity scores for food allergic reactions limit standardization of case management and research advances. We aimed to develop and validate a severity score for food allergic reactions.

Methods: Following a multidisciplinary experts consensus, it was decided to develop a food allergy severity score (FASS) with ordinal (oFASS) and numerical (nFASS) formats. oFASS with 3 and 5 grades were generated through expert consensus, and nFASS by mathematical modeling. Evaluation was performed in the EuroPrevall outpatient clinic cohort (8232 food reactions) by logistic regression with request of emergency care and medications used as outcomes. Discrimination, classification, and calibration were calculated. Bootstrapping internal validation was followed by external validation (logistic regression) in 5 cohorts (3622 food reactions). Correlation of nFASS with the severity classification done by expert allergy clinicians by Best-Worst Scaling of 32 food reactions was calculated.

Results: oFASS and nFASS map consistently, with nFASS having greater granularity. With the outcomes emergency care, adrenaline and critical medical treatment, oFASS and nFASS had a good discrimination (receiver operating characteristic area under the curve [ROC-AUC]>0.80), classification (sensitivity 0.87-0.92, specificity 0.73-0.78), and calibration. Bootstrapping over ROC-AUC showed negligible biases (1.0 × 10 -1.23 × 10 ). In external validation, nFASS performed best with higher ROC-AUC. nFASS was strongly correlated (R 0.89) to best-worst scoring of 334 expert clinicians.

Conclusion: FASS is a validated and reliable method to measure severity of food allergic reactions. The ordinal and numerical versions that map onto each other are suitable for use by different stakeholders in different settings.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15165DOI Listing
October 2021

Medical algorithm: Diagnosis of plant food allergy.

Allergy 2021 Aug 6. Epub 2021 Aug 6.

IdISSC, ARADyAL, Allergy Department, Universidad Complutense, Hospital Clinico San Carlos, Madrid, Spain.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15037DOI Listing
August 2021

EAACI guideline: Anaphylaxis (2021 update).

Allergy 2021 Aug 3. Epub 2021 Aug 3.

Clinical and Experimental Sciences and Human Development in Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton, UK.

Anaphylaxis is a clinical emergency which all healthcare professionals need to be able to recognize and manage. The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Anaphylaxis multidisciplinary Task Force has updated the 2014 guideline. The guideline was developed using the AGREE II framework and the GRADE approach. The evidence was systematically reviewed and recommendations were created by weighing up benefits and harms. The guideline was peer-reviewed by external experts and reviewed in a public consultation. The use of clinical criteria to identify anaphylaxis is suggested with blood sampling for the later measurement of tryptase. The prompt use of intramuscular adrenaline as first-line management is recommended with the availability of adrenaline autoinjectors to patients in the community. Pharmacokinetic data should be provided for adrenaline autoinjector devices. Structured, comprehensive training for people at risk of anaphylaxis is recommended. Simulation training and visual prompts for healthcare professionals are suggested to improve the management of anaphylaxis. It is suggested that school policies reflect anaphylaxis guidelines. The evidence for the management of anaphylaxis remains mostly at a very low level. There is an urgent need to prioritize clinical trials with the potential to improve the management of patients at risk of anaphylaxis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15032DOI Listing
August 2021

Open-label follow-on study evaluating the efficacy, safety, and quality of life with extended daily oral immunotherapy in children with peanut allergy.

Allergy 2021 Jul 28. Epub 2021 Jul 28.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, Arkansas, USA.

Background: The benefit of daily administration of Peanut (Arachis hypogaea) Allergen Powder-dnfp (PTAH)-formerly AR101-has been established in clinical trials, but limited data past the first year of treatment are available. This longitudinal analysis aimed to explore the impact of continued PTAH therapeutic maintenance dosing (300 mg/day) on efficacy, safety/tolerability, and food allergy-related quality of life.

Methods: We present a subset analysis of PALISADE-ARC004 participants (aged 4-17 years) who received 300 mg PTAH daily for a total of ~1.5 (Group A, n = 110) or ~2 years (Group B, n = 32). Safety assessments included monitoring the incidence of adverse events (AEs), accidental exposures to food allergens, and adrenaline use. Efficacy was assessed by double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC); skin prick testing; peanut-specific antibody assays; and Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaire (FAQLQ) and Food Allergy Independent Measure (FAIM) scores.

Results: Continued maintenance with PTAH increased participants' ability to tolerate peanut protein: 48.1% of completers in Group A (n = 50/104) and 80.8% in Group B (n = 21/26) tolerated 2000 mg peanut protein at exit DBPCFC without dose-limiting symptoms. Immune biomarkers showed a pattern consistent with treatment-induced desensitization. Among PTAH-continuing participants, the overall and treatment-related exposure-adjusted AE rate decreased throughout the intervention period in both groups. Clinically meaningful improvements in FAQLQ and FAIM scores over time suggest a potential link between increased desensitization as determined by the DBPCFC and improved quality of life.

Conclusions: These results demonstrate that daily PTAH treatment for peanut allergy beyond 1 year leads to an improved safety/tolerability profile and continued clinical and immunological response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.15027DOI Listing
July 2021

Improving Severity Scoring of Food-Induced Allergic Reactions: A Global "Best-Worst Scaling" Exercise.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 11 19;9(11):4075-4086.e5. Epub 2021 Jul 19.

National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom. Electronic address:

Background: There is no current consensus on assigning severity to food-induced allergic reactions, for example, to assess the efficacy of allergen immunotherapy. Existing severity scores lack the capability to discriminate between non-anaphylaxis reactions of different severities. Attempts are ongoing to develop a more discriminatory score, which should ideally be data-driven and validated in multiple cohorts.

Objective: To undertake an exercise using best-worst scaling (BWS) to define a potential gold standard against which severity scoring of food-induced allergic reactions can be refined.

Methods: We undertook a global survey to better understand how health care professionals rate the severity of food-induced allergic reactions, using BWS methodology. Respondents were given a number of patient case vignettes describing real-world allergic reactions and asked to select the pair that, in their opinion, reflected the maximum difference in severity. Responses were then modeled and a preference score (representing severity) determined for each scenario. Scenarios were also scored using existing published scoring systems and the scores compared with the BWS score using Spearman r correlation and Cohen kappa. Given the differences in definitions of anaphylaxis globally, we also evaluated differences in BWS ranking depending on the geographical location of respondents.

Results: We received 334 complete responses, 183 (55%) from Europe and 65 (20%) from North America. Perception of severity of some reactions appeared to be affected by geographical location. The comparison of BWS ranking with current grading systems identified significant issues that varied from one grading system to another, such as prominence to some symptoms (eg, vomiting) that skew grading when using scoring systems not designed for food allergy. In general, current scoring systems poorly discriminate against more mild symptoms and often overestimate their severity.

Conclusions: These data provide a methodology free of user scale bias to help define a potential, consensus-driven gold standard that can be used to guide and validate the development of improved grading systems to score food-induced allergic symptoms and highlight areas for education where there is the potential to miscategorize severity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.06.056DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8592392PMC
November 2021

Primary and pollen-associated hazelnut allergy in school-aged children in Germany: A birth cohort study.

Allergol Int 2021 Oct 24;70(4):463-470. Epub 2021 Jun 24.

Department of Pediatric Respiratory Medicine, Immunology and Critical Care Medicine - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Primary hazelnut allergy is a common cause of anaphylaxis in children, as compared to birch-pollen associated hazelnut allergy. Population-based data on hazelnut and concomitant birch-pollen allergy in children are lacking. We aimed to investigate the prevalence of primary and pollen-associated hazelnut allergy and sensitization profiles in school-aged children in Berlin, Germany.

Methods: 1570 newborn children were recruited in Berlin in 2005-2009. The school-age follow-up (2014-2017) was based on a standardized web-based parental questionnaire and clinical evaluation by a physician including skin prick tests, allergen specific immunoglobulin E serum tests and placebo-controlled double-blind oral food challenges, if indicated.

Results: 1004 children (63.9% response) participated in the school-age follow-up assessment (52.1% male). For 1.9% (n = 19, 95%-confidence interval 1.1%-2.9%) of children their parents reported hazelnut-allergic symptoms, for half of these to roasted hazelnut indicating primary hazelnut allergy. Symptoms of birch-pollen allergy were reported for 11.6% (n = 116 95%-CI 9.7%-13.7%) of the children. Both birch-pollen allergy and hazelnut allergy associated symptoms affected 0.6% (n = 6, 95%-CI 0.2%-1.3%) of children. Assessment of allergic sensitization was performed in 261 participants and showed that almost 20% of these children were sensitized to hazelnut, being the most frequent of all assessed food allergens, or birch-pollen, the majority to both.

Conclusions: Based on parental reports hazelnut-allergic symptoms were far less common than sensitization to hazelnut. This needs to be considered by physicians to avoid unnecessary changes in diet due to sensitization profiles only, especially when there is a co-sensitization to hazelnut and birch-pollen.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.alit.2021.05.006DOI Listing
October 2021

Non-specific lipid-transfer proteins: Allergen structure and function, cross-reactivity, sensitization, and epidemiology.

Clin Transl Allergy 2021 May 18;11(3):e12010. Epub 2021 May 18.

Peter Gorer Department of Immunobiology King's College London London UK.

Background: Discovered and described 40 years ago, non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTP) are present in many plant species and play an important role protecting plants from stressors such as heat or drought. In the last 20 years, sensitization to nsLTP and consequent reactions to plant foods has become an increasing concern.

Aim: The aim of this paper is to review the evidence for the structure and function of nsLTP allergens, and cross-reactivity, sensitization, and epidemiology of nsLTP allergy.

Materials And Methods: A Task Force, supported by the European Academy of Allergy & Clinical Immunology (EAACI), reviewed current evidence and provide a signpost for future research. The search terms for this paper were "Non-specific Lipid Transfer Proteins", "LTP syndrome", "Pru p 3", "plant food allergy", "pollen-food syndrome".

Results: Most nsLTP allergens have a highly conserved structure stabilised by 4-disulphide bridges. Studies on the peach nsLTP, Pru p 3, demonstrate that nsLTPs are very cross-reactive, with the four major IgE epitopes of Pru p 3 being shared by nsLTP from other botanically related fruits. These nsLTP allergens are to varying degrees resistant to heat and digestion, and sensitization may occur through the oral, inhaled or cutaneous routes. In some populations, Pru p 3 is the primary and sole sensitizing allergen, but many are poly-sensitised both to botanically un-related nsLTP in foods, and non-food sources of nsLTP such as Cannabis sativa, Platanus acerifolia, (plane tree), Ambrosia artemisiifolia (ragweed) and Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort). Initially, nsLTP sensitization appeared to be limited to Mediterranean countries, however more recent studies suggest clinically relevant sensitization occurs in North Atlantic regions and also countries in Northern Europe, with nsLTP sensitisation profiles being broadly similar.

Discussion: These robust allergens have the potential to sensitize and provoke symptoms to a large number of plant foods, including those which are raw, cooked or processed. It is unknown why some sensitized individuals develop clinical symptoms to foods whereas others do not, or indeed what other allergens besides Pru p 3 may be primary sensitising allergens. It is clear that these allergens are also relevant in non-Mediterranean populations and there needs to be more recognition of this.

Conclusion: Non-specific LTP allergens, present in a wide variety of plant foods and pollens, are structurally robust and so may be present in both raw and cooked foods. More studies are needed to understand routes of sensitization and the world-wide prevalence of clinical symptoms associated with sensitization to these complex allergens.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/clt2.12010DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8129635PMC
May 2021

Prevalence and early-life risk factors of school-age allergic multimorbidity: The EuroPrevall-iFAAM birth cohort.

Allergy 2021 09 8;76(9):2855-2865. Epub 2021 Jun 8.

Institute of Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Coexistence of childhood asthma, eczema and allergic rhinitis is higher than can be expected by chance, suggesting a common mechanism. Data on allergic multimorbidity from a pan-European, population-based birth cohort study have been lacking. This study compares the prevalence and early-life risk factors of these diseases in European primary school children.

Methods: In the prospective multicentre observational EuroPrevall-iFAAM birth cohort study, we used standardized questionnaires on sociodemographics, medical history, parental allergies and lifestyle, and environmental exposures at birth, 12 and 24 months. At primary school age, parents answered ISAAC-based questions on current asthma, rhinitis and eczema. Allergic multimorbidity was defined as the coexistence of at least two of these.

Results: From 10,563 children recruited at birth in 8 study centres, we included data from 5,572 children (mean age 8.2 years; 51.8% boys). Prevalence estimates were as follows: asthma, 8.1%; allergic rhinitis, 13.3%; and eczema, 12.0%. Allergic multimorbidity was seen in 7.0% of the whole cohort, ranging from 1.2% (Athens, Greece) to 10.9% (Madrid, Spain). Risk factors for allergic multimorbidity, identified with AICc, included family-allergy-score, odds ratio (OR) 1.50 (95% CI 1.32-1.70) per standard deviation; early-life allergy symptoms, OR 2.72 (2.34-3.16) for each symptom; and caesarean birth, OR 1.35 (1.04-1.76). Female gender, OR 0.72 (0.58-0.90); older siblings, OR 0.79 (0.63-0.99); and day care, OR 0.81 (0.63-1.06) were protective factors.

Conclusion: Allergic multimorbidity should be regarded as an important chronic childhood disease in Europe. Some of the associated early-life factors are modifiable and may be considered for prevention strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14857DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8453757PMC
September 2021

Wheat Anaphylaxis in Adults Differs from Reactions to Other Types of Food.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 07 5;9(7):2844-2852.e5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Wheat is one of the most commonly consumed foods and a known elicitor of anaphylaxis in children and adults. Reactions in adults are often cofactor dependent and characterized by a prolonged time between food intake and the onset of symptoms making the diagnosis of wheat anaphylaxis challenging.

Objective: To characterize a cohort of patients with the history of wheat anaphylaxis to better understand this atypical phenotype of anaphylaxis.

Methods: Data from the European Anaphylaxis Registry from 2007 to 2019 (n = 10,636) including 250 patients (213 adults and 37 children) with a history of anaphylaxis caused by wheat were analyzed.

Results: Wheat was the most common food elicitor of anaphylaxis in adults in the registry in Central Europe. Reactions to wheat in adults were frequently associated with exercise as a cofactor (82.8%) and partially delayed (57.5%). Only 36.9% of patients had atopic comorbidities, which was uncommonly low for adult patients allergic to other kinds of foods (63.2%). Anaphylaxis to wheat presented frequently with cardiovascular symptoms (86.7%) including severe symptoms such as loss of consciousness (41%) and less often with respiratory symptoms (53.6%). The reactions to wheat were more severe than reactions to other foods (odds ratio [OR] = 4.33), venom (OR = 1.58), or drugs (OR = 2.11).

Conclusions: Wheat is a relevant elicitor of anaphylaxis in adults in Central Europe. Wheat anaphylaxis is highly dependent on the presence of cofactors and less frequently associated with atopic diseases compared with other food allergies. More data on mechanisms of wheat-induced anaphylaxis are required to develop preventive measures for this potentially life-threatening disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2021.03.037DOI Listing
July 2021

Management of anaphylaxis due to COVID-19 vaccines in the elderly.

Allergy 2021 10;76(10):2952-2964

Regional Ministry of Health of Andalusia, Seville, Spain.

Older adults, especially men and/or those with diabetes, hypertension, and/or obesity, are prone to severe COVID-19. In some countries, older adults, particularly those residing in nursing homes, have been prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccines due to high risk of death. In very rare instances, the COVID-19 vaccines can induce anaphylaxis, and the management of anaphylaxis in older people should be considered carefully. An ARIA-EAACI-EuGMS (Allergic Rhinitis and its Impact on Asthma, European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and European Geriatric Medicine Society) Working Group has proposed some recommendations for older adults receiving the COVID-19 vaccines. Anaphylaxis to COVID-19 vaccines is extremely rare (from 1 per 100,000 to 5 per million injections). Symptoms are similar in younger and older adults but they tend to be more severe in the older patients. Adrenaline is the mainstay treatment and should be readily available. A flowchart is proposed to manage anaphylaxis in the older patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14838DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8251336PMC
October 2021

Consensus on DEfinition of Food Allergy SEverity (DEFASE) an integrated mixed methods systematic review.

World Allergy Organ J 2021 Mar 11;14(3):100503. Epub 2021 Mar 11.

Allergy Unit - Area of Translational Research in Pediatric Specialities, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital, IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Background And Aims: The term "Food Allergy" refers to a complex global health problem with a wide spectrum of severity. However, a uniform definition of severe food allergy is currently missing. This systematic review is the preliminary step towards a state-of-the-art synopsis of the current evidence relating to the severity of IgE-mediated food allergy; it will inform attempts to develop a consensus to define food allergy severity by clinicians and other stakeholders.

Methods: We undertook a mixed-methods systematic review, which involved searching 11 international biomedical databases for published studies from inception to 31 December 2019. Studies were independently screened against pre-defined eligibility criteria and critically appraised by established instruments. The substantial heterogeneity of included studies precluded meta-analyses and, therefore, narrative synthesis of quantitative and qualitative data was performed.

Results: We found 23 studies providing eligible primary data on symptom-specific severity of food allergic reactions, and 31 previously published symptom-severity scoring systems referred to food allergic reactions. There were seven studies which assessed quality-of-life measures in patients (and family members) with different food allergy severity and two studies that investigated the economic burden of food allergy severity. Overall, the quality and the global rating of all included studies were judged as being moderate.

Conclusions: There is heterogeneity among severity scoring systems used and even outcomes considered in the context of severity of food allergy. No score has been validated. Our results will be used to inform the development of an international consensus to define the severity of food allergy.

Systematic Review Registration: A protocol was prospectively registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews (PROSPERO) database with the registration number CRD42020183103 (https://www.crd.york.ac.uk/prospero/#recordDetails).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100503DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7966874PMC
March 2021

The diagnosis and management of allergic reactions in patients sensitized to non-specific lipid transfer proteins.

Allergy 2021 08 27;76(8):2433-2446. Epub 2021 Mar 27.

Experimental Allergy Unit, Istituto Dermopatico dell'Immacolata - IRCCS, FLMM, Rome, Italy.

Sensitization to one or more non-specific lipid transfer proteins (nsLTPs), initially thought to exist mainly in southern Europe, is becoming accepted as a cause of allergic reactions to plant foods across Europe and beyond. The peach nsLTP allergen Pru p 3 is a dominant sensitizing allergen and peaches a common food trigger, although multiple foods can be involved. A frequent feature of reactions is the requirement for a cofactor (exercise, alcohol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Cannabis sativa) to be present for a food to elicit a reaction. The variability in the food and cofactor triggers makes it essential to include an allergy-focused diet and clinical history in the diagnostic workup. Testing on suspected food triggers should also establish whether sensitization to nsLTP is present, using purified or recombinant nsLTP allergens such as Pru p 3. The avoidance of known trigger foods and advice on cofactors is currently the main management for this condition. Studies on immunotherapy are promising, but it is unknown whether such treatments will be useful in populations where Pru p 3 is not the primary sensitizing allergen. Future research should focus on the mechanisms of cofactors, improving diagnostic accuracy and establishing the efficacy of immunotherapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14797DOI Listing
August 2021

Single-dose oral challenges to validate eliciting doses in children with cow's milk allergy.

Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2021 07 13;32(5):1056-1065. Epub 2021 Mar 13.

Paediatrics and Child Health, University College Cork, Ireland.

Background: There is increasing interest in the use of eliciting doses (EDs) to inform allergen risk management. The ED can be estimated from the distribution of threshold doses for allergic subjects undergoing food challenges within a specified population. Estimated ED values for cow's milk (the dose expected to cause objective allergic symptoms in 5% of the milk-allergic population) range from 0.5 mg to 13.9 mg cow's milk protein. We undertook a single-dose challenge study to validate a predicted ED for cow's milk of 0.5 mg protein.

Methods: Participants were recruited from 4 clinical centres. Predetermined criteria were used to identify patients reacting to 0.5 mg cow's milk protein (approximately 0.015 mL of fresh cow's milk). Children over 1 year underwent formal challenge to cow's milk to confirm clinical reactivity.

Results: 172 children (median age 6.0 (IQR 0.7-11) years, 57% male) were included in this analysis. Twelve (7.0%, 95% CI 3.7%-11.9%) children experienced objective symptoms that met the predetermined criteria. One participant had mild anaphylaxis that responded to a single dose of adrenaline, the remainder experienced only mild symptoms with no treatment required. We did not identify any baseline predictors of sensitization that were associated with objective reactivity to the single-dose challenge using 0.5 mg cow's milk protein.

Conclusions: These data support an estimated ED for cow's milk of 0.5 mg protein. Values for ED above 0.5 mg for cow's milk protein proposed for allergen risk management need to be reviewed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/pai.13482DOI Listing
July 2021

Consensus on DEfinition of Food Allergy SEverity (DEFASE): Protocol for a systematic review.

World Allergy Organ J 2020 Dec 19;13(12):100493. Epub 2020 Dec 19.

Predictive and Preventive Medicine Research Unit, Multifactorial and Systemic Diseases Research Area, Pediatric Allergology Unit, Bambino Gesù Children's Hospital IRCCS, Rome, Italy.

Background And Aims: The term "Food Allergy" refers to a complex global health problem with a wide spectrum of severity. However, a uniform definition of severe food allergy is currently missing. This systematic review is the preliminary step towards a state-of-the-art synopsis of the current evidence relating to the severity of IgE-mediated food allergy; it will inform attempts to develop a consensus to define food allergy severity by clinicians and other stakeholders.

Methods: We will undertake a systematic review, which will involve searching international biomedical databases for published studies. Studies will be independently screened against pre-defined eligibility criteria and critically appraised by established instruments. Data will be descriptively and, if possible and applicable, quantitatively synthesised.

Ethics And Dissemination: This study does not require any specific ethical approval since it is a systematic review. We plan to report results from this systematic review in a peer reviewed journal. These results will be used to inform the development of an international consensus to define severe food allergy. Author's potential conflicts of interest are clearly stated.

Prospero Registration Number: CRD42020183103.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100493DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7753945PMC
December 2020

Continuous and Daily Oral Immunotherapy for Peanut Allergy: Results from a 2-Year Open-Label Follow-On Study.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 05 24;9(5):1879-1889.e14. Epub 2020 Dec 24.

Aimmune Therapeutics, Brisbane, Calif; Department of Medicine, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, Calif. Electronic address:

Background: The randomized, controlled PALISADE trial demonstrated the benefit of daily oral immunotherapy with Peanut (Arachis Hypogaea) allergen powder-dnfp (PTAH, formerly AR101) in peanut-allergic children and adolescents.

Objective: ARC004, the open-label follow-on study to PALISADE, used 5 dosing cohorts to explore PTAH treatment beyond 1 year and alternative dosing regimens in peanut-allergic individuals.

Methods: Active arm (PTAH-continuing) PALISADE participants who tolerated 300-mg peanut protein at the exit double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge and placebo arm (PTAH-naive) participants could enter ARC004. PTAH-continuing participants were assigned to receive daily (cohorts 1 and 3A) or non-daily (cohorts 2, 3B, and 3C) dosing regimens; PTAH-naive participants were built up to 300 mg/d PTAH, followed by maintenance dosing. At study completion, participants underwent an exit double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge with doses up to 2000 mg peanut protein. Data were assessed using descriptive statistics.

Results: Overall, 358 (87.5%) eligible participants (4-17 years) entered ARC004 (PTAH-continuing, n = 256; PTAH-naive, n = 102). Among PTAH-continuing participants, exposure-adjusted adverse event rates were 12.94 to 17.54/participant-year and 25.95 to 42.49/participant-year in daily and non-daily dosing cohorts, respectively; most participants (83%) experienced mild or moderate adverse events. Daily dosing cohorts appeared to have higher desensitization rates than non-daily dosing cohorts. Of all PTAH-continuing cohorts, cohort 3A had the longest daily dosing duration and the highest desensitization rates. Changes in immune markers with PTAH continuation demonstrated ongoing immunomodulation. Outcomes in PTAH-naive participants mirrored those of the PALISADE active arm.

Conclusions: Continued daily PTAH treatment beyond 1 year showed sustained safety and efficacy. Ongoing immunomodulation was observed during the second year of treatment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.12.029DOI Listing
May 2021

Peanut-induced anaphylaxis in children and adolescents: Data from the European Anaphylaxis Registry.

Allergy 2021 05 3;76(5):1517-1527. Epub 2021 Jan 3.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Dermatology, Venereology and Allergology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany.

Background: Peanut allergy has a rising prevalence in high-income countries, affecting 0.5%-1.4% of children. This study aimed to better understand peanut anaphylaxis in comparison to anaphylaxis to other food triggers in European children and adolescents.

Methods: Data was sourced from the European Anaphylaxis Registry via an online questionnaire, after in-depth review of food-induced anaphylaxis cases in a tertiary paediatric allergy centre.

Results: 3514 cases of food anaphylaxis were reported between July 2007 - March 2018, 56% in patients younger than 18 years. Peanut anaphylaxis was recorded in 459 children and adolescents (85% of all peanut anaphylaxis cases). Previous reactions (42% vs. 38%; p = .001), asthma comorbidity (47% vs. 35%; p < .001), relevant cofactors (29% vs. 22%; p = .004) and biphasic reactions (10% vs. 4%; p = .001) were more commonly reported in peanut anaphylaxis. Most cases were labelled as severe anaphylaxis (Ring&Messmer grade III 65% vs. 56% and grade IV 1.1% vs. 0.9%; p = .001). Self-administration of intramuscular adrenaline was low (17% vs. 15%), professional adrenaline administration was higher in non-peanut food anaphylaxis (34% vs. 26%; p = .003). Hospitalization was higher for peanut anaphylaxis (67% vs. 54%; p = .004).

Conclusions: The European Anaphylaxis Registry data confirmed peanut as one of the major causes of severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions in European children, with some characteristic features e.g., presence of asthma comorbidity and increased rate of biphasic reactions. Usage of intramuscular adrenaline as first-line treatment is low and needs to be improved. The Registry, designed as the largest database on anaphylaxis, allows continuous assessment of this condition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14683DOI Listing
May 2021

World allergy organization anaphylaxis guidance 2020.

World Allergy Organ J 2020 Oct 30;13(10):100472. Epub 2020 Oct 30.

Department of Dermatology and Allergology, Charite-Universitätsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.

Anaphylaxis is the most severe clinical presentation of acute systemic allergic reactions. The occurrence of anaphylaxis has increased in recent years, and subsequently, there is a need to continue disseminating knowledge on the diagnosis and management, so every healthcare professional is prepared to deal with such emergencies. The rationale of this updated position document is the need to keep guidance aligned with the current state of the art of knowledge in anaphylaxis management. The World Allergy Organization (WAO) anaphylaxis guidelines were published in 2011, and the current guidance adopts their major indications, incorporating some novel changes. Intramuscular epinephrine (adrenaline) continues to be the first-line treatment for anaphylaxis. Nevertheless, its use remains suboptimal. After an anaphylaxis occurrence, patients should be referred to a specialist to assess the potential cause and to be educated on prevention of recurrences and self-management. The limited availability of epinephrine auto-injectors remains a major problem in many countries, as well as their affordability for some patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.waojou.2020.100472DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7607509PMC
October 2020

Intradermal Phleum pratense allergoid immunotherapy. Double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial.

Clin Exp Allergy 2020 12 25;50(12):1352-1361. Epub 2020 Oct 25.

Diater Laboratorios S.A, Leganés, Madrid, Spain.

Background: In allergology, the intradermal approach is generally used to establish an aetiological diagnosis, with limited experience in specific allergen immunotherapy.

Objective: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of immunotherapy with an allergen extract of glutaraldehyde-polymerized Phleum pratense, administered intradermally, in patients with rhinoconjunctivitis sensitized to grass pollen.

Methods: Multicentre, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial in patients from 12 to 65 years of age with rhinitis or rhinoconjunctivitis, with or without asthma, due to grass pollen allergy. Patients were divided into three groups and received a total of six doses in a weekly interval, of either placebo; 0.03 or 0.06 μg of protein per dose of P pratense allergoid. The primary objective was to evaluate the combined symptoms and medication consumption score (CSMS). The secondary objectives were symptoms and medication, tolerance to the conjunctival provocation test, specific IgE and IgG4 antibodies and the safety profile according to the WAO scale.

Results: The dose of 0.06 μg of protein proved to be effective versus the placebo by significantly reducing CSMS and increasing tolerance to the allergenic extract in the conjunctival provocation test, after the first pollen season. This group showed a significant reduction in specific IgE after the second pollen season relative to the baseline. There were no variations in IgG4 levels. Only one grade 2 systemic reaction was recorded.

Conclusion & Clinical Relevance: Intradermal immunotherapy with P pratense allergoid has been shown to be effective and safe, reducing CSMS, increasing tolerance to the conjunctival provocation test and reducing IgE levels.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cea.13740DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7756767PMC
December 2020

Walnut Allergy Across Europe: Distribution of Allergen Sensitization Patterns and Prediction of Severity.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2021 01 8;9(1):225-235.e10. Epub 2020 Sep 8.

Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Bioinformatics, Amsterdam University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: Walnut allergy is common across the globe, but data on the involvement of individual walnut components are scarce.

Objectives: To identify geographical differences in walnut component sensitization across Europe, explore cosensitization and cross-reactivity, and assess associations of clinical and serological determinants with severity of walnut allergy.

Methods: As part of the EuroPrevall outpatient surveys in 12 European cities, standardized clinical evaluation was conducted in 531 individuals reporting symptoms to walnut, with sensitization to all known walnut components assessed in 202 subjects. Multivariable Lasso regression was applied to investigate predictors for walnut allergy severity.

Results: Birch-pollen-related walnut sensitization (Jug r 5) dominated in Northern and Central Europe and lipid transfer protein sensitization (Jug r 3) in Southern Europe. Profilin sensitization (Jug r 7) was prominent throughout Europe. Sensitization to storage proteins (Jug r 1, 2, 4, and 6) was detected in up to 10% of subjects. The walnut components that showed strong correlations with pollen and other foods differed between centers. The combination of determinants best predicting walnut allergy severity were symptoms upon skin contact with walnut, atopic dermatitis (ever), family history of atopic disease, mugwort pollen allergy, sensitization to cat or dog, positive skin prick test result to walnut, and IgE to Jug r 1, 5, 7, or carbohydrate determinants (area under the curve = 0.81; 95% CI, 0.73-0.89).

Conclusions: Walnut-allergic subjects across Europe show clear geographical differences in walnut component sensitization and cosensitization patterns. A predictive model combining results from component-based serology testing with results from extract-based testing and information on clinical background allows for good discrimination between mild to moderate and severe walnut allergy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.08.051DOI Listing
January 2021

Predicting food allergy: The value of patient history reinforced.

Allergy 2021 05 24;76(5):1454-1462. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Dermatology and Allergology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Background: EAACI guidelines emphasize the importance of patient history in diagnosing food allergy (FA) and the need for studies investigating its value using standardized allergy-focused questionnaires.

Objective: To determine the contribution of reaction characteristics, allergic comorbidities and demographics to prediction of FA in individuals experiencing food-related adverse reactions.

Methods: Adult and school-age participants in the standardized EuroPrevall population surveys, with self-reported FA, were included. Penalized multivariable regression was used to assess the association of patient history determinants with "probable" FA, defined as a food-specific case history supported by relevant IgE sensitization.

Results: In adults (N = 844), reproducibility of reaction (OR 1.35 [95% CI 1.29-1.41]), oral allergy symptoms (OAS) (4.46 [4.19-4.75]), allergic rhinitis (AR) comorbidity (2.82 [2.68-2.95]), asthma comorbidity (1.38 [1.30-1.46]) and male sex (1.50 [1.41-1.59]) were positively associated with probable FA. Gastrointestinal symptoms (0.88 [0.85-0.91]) made probable FA less likely. The AUC of a model combining all selected predictors was 0.85 after cross-validation. In children (N = 670), OAS (2.26 [2.09-2.44]) and AR comorbidity (1.47 [CI 1.39-1.55]) contributed most to prediction of probable FA, with a combined cross-validation-based AUC of 0.73. When focusing on plant foods, the dominant source of FA in adults, the pediatric model also included gastrointestinal symptoms (inverse association), and the AUC increased to 0.81.

Conclusions: In both adults and school-age children from the general population, reporting of OAS and of AR comorbidity appear to be the strongest predictors of probable FA. Patient history particularly allows for good discrimination between presence and absence of probable plant FA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14583DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246712PMC
May 2021

Diagnosing, managing and preventing anaphylaxis: Systematic review.

Allergy 2021 05 29;76(5):1493-1506. Epub 2020 Sep 29.

Faculty of Medicine, Clinical and Experimental Sciences and Human Development in Health, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK.

Background: This systematic review used the GRADE approach to compile evidence to inform the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology's (EAACI) anaphylaxis guideline.

Methods: We searched five bibliographic databases from 1946 to 20 April 2020 for studies about the diagnosis, management and prevention of anaphylaxis. We included 50 studies with 18 449 participants: 29 randomized controlled trials, seven controlled clinical trials, seven consecutive case series and seven case-control studies. Findings were summarized narratively because studies were too heterogeneous to conduct meta-analysis.

Results: It is unclear whether the NIAID/FAAN criteria or Brighton case definition are valid for immediately diagnosing anaphylaxis due to the very low certainty of evidence. There was also insufficient evidence about the impact of most anaphylaxis management and prevention strategies. Adrenaline is regularly used for first-line emergency management of anaphylaxis but little robust research has assessed its effectiveness. Newer models of adrenaline autoinjectors may slightly increase the proportion of people correctly using the devices and reduce time to administration. Face-to-face training for laypeople may slightly improve anaphylaxis knowledge and competence in using autoinjectors. We searched for but found little or no comparative effectiveness evidence about strategies such as fluid replacement, oxygen, glucocorticosteroids, methylxanthines, bronchodilators, management plans, food labels, drug labels and similar.

Conclusions: Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening condition but, due to practical and ethical challenges, there is a paucity of robust evidence about how to diagnose and manage it.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14580DOI Listing
May 2021

Exploring novel systemic biomarker approaches in grass-pollen sublingual immunotherapy using omics.

Allergy 2021 04 22;76(4):1199-1212. Epub 2020 Sep 22.

Facultad de Medicina, Departamento de Ciencias Médicas Básicas, Instituto de Medicina Molecular Aplicada (IMMA), Universidad San Pablo-CEU, CEU Universities, Madrid, España.

Background: Sublingual allergen-specific immunotherapy (SLIT) intervention improves the control of grass pollen allergy by maintaining allergen tolerance after cessation. Despite its widespread use, little is known about systemic effects and kinetics associated to SLIT, as well as the influence of the patient sensitization phenotype (Mono- or Poly-sensitized). In this quest, omics sciences could help to gain new insights to understand SLIT effects.

Methods: 47 grass-pollen-allergic patients were enrolled in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial using GRAZAX® during 2 years. Immunological assays (sIgE, sIgG4, and ISAC) were carried out to 31 patients who finished the trial. Additionally, serum and PBMCs samples were analyzed by metabolomics and transcriptomics, respectively. Based on their sensitization level, 22 patients were allocated in Mono- or Poly-sensitized groups, excluding patients allergic to epithelia. Individuals were compared based on their treatment (Active/Placebo) and sensitization level (Mono/Poly).

Results: Kinetics of serological changes agreed with those previously described. At two years of SLIT, there are scarce systemic changes that could be associated to improvement in systemic inflammation. Poly-sensitized patients presented a higher inflammation at inclusion, while Mono-sensitized patients presented a reduced activity of mast cells and phagocytes as an effect of the treatment.

Conclusions: The most relevant systemic change detected after two years of SLIT was the desensitization of effector cells, which was only detected in Mono-sensitized patients. This change may be related to the clinical improvement, as previously reported, and, together with the other results, may explain why clinical effect is lost if SLIT is discontinued at this point.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/all.14565DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8246889PMC
April 2021

Risk Factors and Characteristics of Biphasic Anaphylaxis.

J Allergy Clin Immunol Pract 2020 Nov - Dec;8(10):3388-3395.e6. Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Dermatology, Venerology and Allergology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Berlin, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Anaphylaxis is an immediate hypersensitivity reaction. However, a biphasic course with the second onset of symptoms can occur hours after the initial phase. Little is known about the causes of biphasic anaphylaxis making the identification of patients at risk difficult.

Objective: To identify factors predisposing for biphasic anaphylaxis for the better understanding of these reactions.

Methods: Data from the Anaphylaxis Registry (from 11 countries) including 8736 patients with monophasic and 435 biphasic anaphylaxis were analyzed.

Results: The rate of biphasic reactions in this large cohort was 4.7%. The identified risk factors were reaction severity (grade III/IV vs grade II: odds ratio [OR] = 1.34; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-1.62); multiorgan involvement; skin, gastrointestinal, severe respiratory, and cardiac symptoms; anaphylaxis caused by peanut/tree nut (OR = 1.78; 95% CI: 1.38-2.23) or an unknown elicitor (OR = 1.96; 95% CI: 1.41-2.72); exercise as a cofactor (OR = 1.44; 95% CI: 1.17-1.78); chronic urticaria as a comorbidity (OR = 2.12; 95% CI: 1.19-3.78); a prolonged interval between the contact with the elicitor and start of primary symptoms (OR for >30 vs <30 min: 1.38; 95% CI: 1.08-1.76); and antihistamine treatment (OR = 1.52; 95% CI: 1.14-2.02).

Conclusion: A biphasic course of anaphylaxis occurs more frequently in severely affected patients with multiorgan involvement. However, we identified multiple additional predictors, suggesting that the pathogenesis of biphasic reactions is more complex than being a rebound of a severe primary reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaip.2020.07.036DOI Listing
May 2021

APPEAL-2: A pan-European qualitative study to explore the burden of peanut-allergic children, teenagers and their caregivers.

Clin Exp Allergy 2020 11 15;50(11):1238-1248. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Hospital Clínico San Carlos, IdISSC, Madrid, Spain.

Background: Allergy to Peanuts ImPacting Emotions And Life (APPEAL-1) was a recent European multi-country questionnaire survey that highlighted the negative impacts of peanut allergy (PA) on quality of life. A follow-on qualitative study, APPEAL-2, further assessed the burden of PA and associated coping strategies through semi-structured interviews.

Objective: To gain qualitative insight on the strategies used to cope with and manage PA and the impact of these strategies on the quality of life of children, teenagers and caregivers.

Methods: This cross-sectional qualitative study was conducted in eight European countries: the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Denmark and the Netherlands. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with children (aged 8-12 years) and teenagers (aged 13-17 years) with self-/proxy-reported moderate or severe PA and with parents/caregivers of children or teenagers (aged 4-17 years) with moderate or severe PA. Data were analysed using thematic analysis; data saturation was assessed. Two conceptual models were developed to illustrate the impacts of PA and coping strategies used to manage them for (a) individuals with PA and (b) parents/caregivers of children with PA.

Results: 107 participants were interviewed: 24 children, 39 teenagers and 44 caregivers. The conceptual models illustrated themes related to coping and control, driven by the fear of PA reactions, and the associated emotional, social, relationship and work impacts. Factors moderating these impacts included social attitudes and support, child-caregiver relationship and coping strategies used.

Conclusions And Clinical Relevance: The APPEAL-2 results substantiate the findings of APPEAL-1; the results also suggest that the severity of experience with PA may not correlate with perception of its overall burden and show variable impacts by country.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/cea.13719DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7780296PMC
November 2020

Efficacy and safety of oral immunotherapy with AR101 in European children with a peanut allergy (ARTEMIS): a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial.

Lancet Child Adolesc Health 2020 10 20;4(10):728-739. Epub 2020 Jul 20.

Evelina London, Children's Allergy Service, Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, London, UK; Department of Women and Children's Health (Paediatric Allergy), School of Life Course Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, King's College London, London, UK.

Background: Peanut allergy is the leading cause of food-related anaphylaxis. Current management options can negatively affect food allergy-related quality of life. We aimed to investigate the efficacy of an investigational oral biologic drug (AR101).

Methods: The AR101 Trial in Europe Measuring Oral Immunotherapy Success in peanut-allergic children (ARTEMIS) trial was a multicentre, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled phase 3 trial done at 18 hospitals in Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the UK. Children and adolescents with peanut allergy, aged 4-17 years, who developed dose-limiting symptoms to 300 mg or less peanut protein (equivalent to approximately one peanut kernel) during a double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge test at study entry were enrolled. Participants were randomly assigned (3:1) to receive daily doses of either AR101 oral immunotherapy (AR101 group) or a taste-masked placebo (placebo group). All participants, investigators, and care providers were masked to treatment allocation until the study was completed. Doses were increased every 2 weeks over 6 months until a dose of 300 mg was reached and maintained for 3 months. The primary endpoint was the proportion of participants in the intention-to-treat or safety population (defined as those participants who had been randomly assigned and had received at least one dose of the assigned drug) who could consume a single dose of 1000 mg (cumulative dose 2043 mg) peanut protein without developing dose-limiting allergic symptoms at an exit double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge after 9 months of treatment. Additional endpoints included safety (ie, the frequency and severity of adverse events) and changes in food allergy-related quality of life, assessed by use of age-appropriate Food Allergy Quality of Life Questionnaires (FAQLQs) and the Food Allergy Independent Measure (FAIM). The study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT03201003, and is completed.

Findings: Between June 12, 2017, and Feb 15, 2018, 227 patients were screened, of whom 175 were randomly assigned to the AR101 group (n=132) and the placebo group (n=43). All primary and secondary endpoints were met. 77 (58%) of 132 participants in the AR101 group tolerated 1000 mg peanut protein at the exit food challenge versus one (2%) of 43 participants in the placebo group (AR101-placebo treatment difference 56·0% [95% CI 44·1-65·2], p<0·0001). Adverse events were reported by almost all participants. The maximum severity of adverse events reported was mild or moderate for most participants who received AR101 (mild, 66 [50%] of 132 participants; moderate, 63 [48%]; and severe, one [1%]) or placebo (mild, 24 [56%] of 43 participants; moderate, 18 [42%]; severe, none). Participants aged 8-12 years in the AR101 group reported improvements that exceeded the minimum clinically important difference between the two groups across all FAQLQ domains. Additionally, participants in the AR101 group and their caregivers reported improvements that exceeded the minimum clinically important difference in FAIM domains related to the perceived likelihood and outcomes of a severe allergic reaction.

Interpretation: AR101 oral immunotherapy treatment led to rapid desensitisation to peanut protein, with a predictable safety profile that improved with treatment, and an associated improvement in self-reported and caregiver-reported food allergy-related quality of life. These patient-oriented outcomes provide invaluable data to help physicians, patients, and caregivers make informed, shared decisions on the management of peanut allergy.

Funding: Aimmune Therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S2352-4642(20)30234-0DOI Listing
October 2020

Phenotype and risk factors of venom-induced anaphylaxis: A case-control study of the European Anaphylaxis Registry.

J Allergy Clin Immunol 2021 02 22;147(2):653-662.e9. Epub 2020 Jun 22.

Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Dermatology, Venerology, and Allergology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, corporate member of Freie Universität Berlin, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, and Berlin Institute of Health, Germany. Electronic address:

Background: Venom-induced anaphylaxis (VIA) is a common, potentially life-threatening hypersensitivity reaction associated with (1) a specific symptom profile, 2) specific cofactors, and 3) specific management. Identifying the differences in phenotypes of anaphylaxis is crucial for future management guidelines and development of a personalized medicine approach.

Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the phenotype and risk factors of VIA.

Methods: Using data from the European Anaphylaxis Registry (12,874 cases), we identified 3,612 patients with VIA and analyzed their cases in comparison with sex- and age-matched anaphylaxis cases triggered by other elicitors (non-VIA cases [n = 3,605]).

Results: VIA more frequently involved more than 3 organ systems and was associated with cardiovascular symptoms. The absence of skin symptoms during anaphylaxis was correlated with baseline serum tryptase level and was associated with an increased risk of a severe reaction. Intramuscular or intravenous epinephrine was administered significantly less often in VIA, in particular, in patients without a history of anaphylaxis. A baseline serum tryptase level within the upper normal range (8-11.5 ng/mL) was more frequently associated with severe anaphylaxis.

Conclusion: Using a large cohort of VIA cases, we have validated that patients with intermediate baseline serum tryptase levels (8-11 ng/mL) and without skin involvement have a higher risk of severe VIA. Patients receiving β-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors had a higher risk of developing severe cardiovascular symptoms (including cardiac arrest) in VIA and non-VIA cases. Patients experiencing VIA received epinephrine less frequently than did cases with non-VIA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaci.2020.06.008DOI Listing
February 2021
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