Paediatric oral peanut challenges: a comparison of practice in London and Western Switzerland

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There are guidelines on how to develop a food challenge protocol, but at present there is no gold standard guidance on method, and separate units produce differing protocols.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 200 patients’ data from the paediatric allergy units in Lausanne and Geneva, Western Switzerland, and St Thomas’ Hospital (STH), UK.


St Thomas’ Hospital has a younger cohort with a lower overall mean spIgE (2.36 kU/l vs 8.00 kU/l, P = 0.004). The target peanut protein volumes differed: Switzerland 4.4 g vs STH 8.4 g. Despite this, the dose actually achieved in positive challenges was not significantly different (2.33 g vs 1.49 g, P = 0.16). 26% of challenges reacted at 4 g or more of peanut protein.


The differences in results highlight how the variation in reasoning behind food challenge alters the outcome. Standardization of food challenges would allow easy comparison between hospitals and geographical areas for research purposes.

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