A recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI) demonstrates that toddlers who are allergic to raw egg but can safely eat foods containing baked egg seem more likely to outgrow their egg intolerance by age 2.
"The findings show us that there are in general two types (of) patients with egg allergy, those who will outgrow the allergy in a few years and those who it will take longer to outgrow it," said Dr. Wesley Burks, who chairs the department of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and was not involved in the study."The first group can be identified with the ability to consume baked-egg products and if they put these products in their diet they may outgrow the egg allergy sooner," Dr. Burks told Reuters.
The new work, led by Dr. Katrina Allen from the Royal Children's Hospital in Parkville, Victoria, Australia, was published online December 27 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.
To test for allergic reactions, Dr. Allen and her team administered prick tests to more than 5,100 one-year-olds. They then performed oral food challenges on those who responded, including raw eggs and a muffin containing baked egg, and followed up with baked-egg tests again when the children were two years old. They reported results for 140 children who completed follow-up. Nearly half the children (47%) outgrew their egg allergy by age 2. Statistical analysis revealed two significant predictors of persistent egg allergy: the baseline skin-prick test (adjusted odds ratio, 3.34) and egg specific serum IgE of 95% or greater positive predictive value (aOR, 29.46).
Another predictor was tolerance to baked egg. At baseline, 20% of the infants who reacted to raw egg also reacted to baked egg, and after adjustment for confounders these children were five times as likely to remain allergic through age 2 as were those who tolerated baked eggs (aOR, 5.27). "We believe our results will help decide which children should be entered into studies of oral immunotherapy for egg allergy," Dr. Allen said.
It's possible that eating baked eggs may improve tolerance. When infants who could eat baked egg at age 1 ate foods containing baked eggs five or more times per month they were three times more likely to tolerate raw egg at age 2 (OR, 3.51)." For families with children with egg allergy, this is a well done study to help them know that for many children with egg allergy, this allergy will be outgrown early in life. It also shows us that if a child can tolerate baked egg, then it is probably good for them to incorporate this into their diet," Dr. Burks says.
Dr. Katherine Bloom of Allergy & Asthma Care of Fairfield County comments: "Previous studies have demonstrated that patients with milk allergy are more likely to outgrow the allergy if they tolerate baked milk, and that ingestion of baked milk may lead to more rapid resolution of the allergy. This study demonstrates that the same appears to be true of egg allergy. Patients with these food allergies would benefit from allergy testing and possible in-office baked food challenges to determine whether they can eat these forms of the food and accelerate resolution of the allergy."
SOURCE: http://bit.ly/19EVBdX and Reuters.
J Allergy Clin Immunol 2013.