Development of a standardized low-dose double-blind placebo-controlled challenge vehicle for the EuroPrevall project

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Abstract

To cite this article:

Cochrane SA, Salt LJ, Wantling E, Rogers A, Coutts J, Ballmer-Weber BK, Fritsche P, Fernández-Rivas M, Reig I, Knulst A, Le T-M, Asero R, Beyer K, Golding M, Crevel R, Clare Mills EN, Mackie AR. Development of a standardized low-dose double-blind placebo-controlled challenge vehicle for the EuroPrevall Project. Allergy 2012; 67: 107–113.

Background:

Double-blind placebo-controlled food challenge (DBPCFC) is the gold standard for diagnosing food allergy. Standardized materials and protocols are essential for comparing DBPCFC results for multicentre studies such as EuroPrevall. This required the development and piloting of a standardized vehicle and low-dose protocol for confirming food allergy and determination of minimum eliciting doses (MEDs).

Methods:

A low-dose DBPCFC protocol was developed, with eight titrated protein doses from 3 μg to 1 g. This was delivered using a simple, microbiologically stable food base incorporating allergenic food ingredients manufactured at three sites and centrally distributed to clinical centres. Allergen blinding was assessed by a professional sensory testing panel using a triangle test. Homogeneity and allergen content were confirmed by ELISA and clinical efficacy was assessed in a pilot study, using celeriac and hazelnut as exemplars.

Results:

Celeriac and hazelnut ingredients were sufficiently blinded in the dessert. The dessert meals were successfully piloted with hazelnut in allergy clinics in Spain, the Netherlands and Italy and with celeriac and hazelnut in Zurich. The challenges elicited a range of subjective and objective reactions ranging in severity from mild itching of the oral mucosa to bronchospasm.

Conclusions:

A standardized challenge vehicle proven to sufficiently blind processed, powdered hazelnut and celeriac ingredients and that can be reproducibly manufactured has been developed. This pilot study shows that the vehicle is promising for the confirmation of food allergy and determination of MEDs in adults and children with body weight >28.8 kg (approximately 7–11 years old).

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