Specific allergen profiles of peanut foods and diagnostic or therapeutic allergenic products

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Abstract

Background:

Generic immunoassays for peanut cannot discriminate between allergen levels in peanut-derived food products or therapeutics. Clinical trials of oral immunotherapy (OIT) are strengthened by using standardized peanut preparations with defined doses of major allergens.

Objective:

This article describes measurement of Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Ara h 6 in peanut foods and in peanut flour extracts used for allergy diagnosis and OIT.

Methods:

Monoclonal antibody–based enzyme immunoassays for Ara h 1, Ara h 2, and Ara h 6 were used to compare allergen levels in peanut (n = 16) and tree nut (n = 16) butter, peanut flour (n = 11), oils (n = 8), extracts used for diagnosis and OIT (n = 5), and the National Institute for Standards and Technology Peanut Butter Standard Reference Material 2387.

Results:

Roasted peanut butters contained 991 to 21,406 μg/g Ara h 1 and exceeded Ara h 2 and Ara h 6 levels by 2- to 4-fold. Similarly, National Institute for Standards and Technology Peanut Butter Standard Reference Material 2387 contained 11,275 μg/g Ara h 1, 2,522 μg/g Ara h 2, and 2,036 μg/g Ara h 6. In contrast, peanut flours contained 787 to 14,631 μg/g Ara h 2 and exceeded Ara h 1 levels by 2- to 20-fold. Flour extracts used for OIT contained 394 to 505 μg/mL Ara h 1, 1,187 to 5,270 μg/mL Ara h 2, and 1,104 to 8,092 μg/mL Ara h 6. In most cases specific peanut allergens were not detected in tree nut butters or peanut oils.

Conclusions:

The results show marked differences in specific peanut allergen profiles in peanut butter and flour and peanut preparations for clinical use. Roasting can increase Ara h 1 levels in peanut butter. Variability in allergen levels could affect the outcome of clinical trials of peanut OIT, especially with respect to Ara h 1. Specific allergen measurements will improve standardization and provide accurate dosing of peanut preparations that are being used for OIT.

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