Allergen specificity of early peanut consumption and effect on development of allergic disease in the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy study cohort

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Abstract

Background:

Early introduction of dietary peanut in high-risk infants with severe eczema, egg allergy, or both prevented peanut allergy at 5 years of age in the Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study. The protective effect persisted after 12 months of avoiding peanuts in the 12-month extension of the LEAP study (LEAP-On). It is unclear whether this benefit is allergen and allergic disease specific.

Objective:

We sought to assess the effect of early introduction of peanut on the development of allergic disease, food sensitization, and aeroallergen sensitization.

Methods:

Asthma, eczema, and rhinoconjunctivitis were diagnosed based on clinical assessment. Reported allergic reactions and consumption of tree nuts and sesame were recorded by questionnaire. Sensitization to food allergens and aeroallergens was determined by means of skin prick testing and specific IgE measurement.

Results:

A high and increasing burden of food allergen and aeroallergen sensitization and allergic disease was noted across study time points; 76% of LEAP participants had at least 1 allergic disease at 60 months of age. There were no differences in allergic disease between LEAP groups. There were small differences in sensitization and reported allergic reactions for select tree nuts, with levels being higher in the LEAP consumption group. Significant resolution of eczema and sensitization to egg and milk occurred in LEAP participants and was not affected by peanut consumption.

Conclusion:

Early consumption of peanut in infants at high risk of peanut allergy is allergen specific and does not prevent the development of other allergic disease, sensitization to other food allergens and aeroallergens, or reported allergic reactions to tree nuts and sesame. Furthermore, peanut consumption does not hasten the resolution of eczema or egg allergy.

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