Allergies, Author Interviews, JAMA, Nutrition, Pediatrics / 22.10.2019 Interview with: Mitsuyoshi Urashima MD, PhD, MPH Professor of Molecular Epidemiology Jikei University School of Medicine Tokyo, JAPAN What is the background for this study? Response: IgE-mediated food allergy is becoming a global concern, because its prevalence and severity are worsening. Many Japanese maternity wards encourage breastfeeding, but allow mothers or nurses to supplement breastfeeding with cow’s milk formula, e.g., approximately 6 to 10 hours after birth or even earlier, based on maternal preferences, but not based on clinical evidence. However, more than 20 to 30 years ago, sugar water was given instead of cow’s milk formula supplement at birth. Thus, we hypothesized that early exposure to cow’s milk formula at birth is, at least in part, associated with the recent increase in children with food allergy. Therefore, a randomized clinical trial, named ABC (Atopy induced by Breast feeding or Cow's milk formula), was conducted to assess whether the risk of cow’s milk formula sensitization and food allergy is decreased by either avoiding or supplementing cow’s milk formula at birth. Immediately after birth, newborns were randomly assigned (1:1 ratio) to either breastfeeding with or without amino acid-based elemental formula for at least the first 3 days of life (breastfeeding ± elemental formula), or breastfeeding supplemented with cow’s milk formula (≥5 mL/day) from the first day of life to 5 months of age (breastfeeding + cow's milk formula). (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 04.03.2019 Interview with: Todd Green MD  Vice President, Medical Affairs North America DBV Technologies Associate Professor of Pediatrics University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine What is the background for this announcement? What is Viaskin Peanut? Response: Peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies and can cause severe, potentially life-threatening allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis. Unfortunately, there are no FDA-approved treatment options for peanut or other food allergies – leaving patients with avoidance and readiness to manage reactions to accidental exposures as their only option. Viaskin Peanut uses epicutaneous immunotherapy or EPIT, a method of delivering biologically active compounds to the immune system through the skin. Patients receive about 1/1,000th of a peanut with each daily dose of peanut protein – the equivalent of one peanut every three years – which activates the immune system with very minimal exposure. In February 2019, DBV announced that its planned resubmission of the Biologics License Application (BLA) to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for Viaskin Peanut in the treatment of peanut-allergic children 4 to 11 years of age is anticipated in the third quarter of 2019. DBV is working diligently on its resubmission package, bringing us one step closer to providing an FDA-approved treatment for peanut-allergic children and their families. Viaskin Peanut previously received Breakthrough and Fast Track designations for the treatment of peanut-allergic children from the FDA in 2015 and 2012, respectively.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 26.02.2019 Interview with: Ruchi Gupta MD MPH Mary Ann & J Milburn Smith Senior Scientist in Child Health Research Director, Science & Outcomes of Allergy & Asthma Research Professor of Pediatrics & Medicine Clinical Attending Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Institute for Public Health and Medicine Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine   Christopher M. Warren,  PhD University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA What is the background for this study? Response: Readers may be familiar with the so-called "top 8" food allergens (i.e. peanut, tree nut, cow's milk, fin fish, shellfish, egg, wheat and soy), which are responsible for the majority of food allergies in the US.  However, in recent years increasing attention has been paid to sesame allergy, which evidence suggests can lead to anaphylaxis, frequently results in accidental exposure among affected patients, and is infrequently outgrown.  Until now, only one 2010 study has systematically assessed the prevalence of sesame among both US children and adults.  It concluded that sesame allergies were reported by approximately .1% of the US population. However, this study, which surveyed a sample of approximately 5000 US households only captured 13 individuals with reported sesame allergy, which limited the authors' ability to draw more detailed conclusions about the specific characteristics of sesame allergy in the United States.    (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, OBGYNE, Pediatrics / 18.12.2018 Interview with:  Karen Robbins, M.D. Allergist at Children’s National Health System What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: The background is that mothers are often concerned that something they did contributed to their children developing food allergies. Many will relate that they ate a lot of one specific food allergen while pregnant, and question how this could have impacted their unborn child. We realized that we hear a lot of anecdotal stories in clinic, but were not sure how frequently mothers try to alter their diet in the hopes of preventing food allergy in their children. We also were not sure where families get information or guidance on this topic. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 06.11.2018 Interview with: David Stukus, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Associate Director, Pediatric Allergy & Immunology Fellowship Program Director of Quality Improvement, Division of Allergy and Immunology Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine Columbus Ohio 43205 Dr. David Stukus discusses the emerging science behind food allergy prevention. How many US children are affected by food allergies?  Response: Food allergies affect roughly 5-8% of all U.S. children, which is approximately 6 million children. This translates to about 1 in every 13 children, or an average of two children in every classroom. Are food allergies becoming more common? Response: Yes, we know that the prevalence of food allergies have doubled over the past two decades. Unfortunately, there is no single or definitive answer as to why this increase has occurred. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, PLoS / 16.07.2018 Interview with: “TOMATOES” by RubyGoes is licensed under CC BY 2.0Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Wilfried Schwab Technical University of Munich Center of Life and Food Science Weihenstephan Biotechnology of Natural Products Freising, Germany What is the background for this study? Response: The prevalence of food allergy is an increasing health problem. Although tomatoes are one of the most consumed vegetables worldwide and have health beneficial effects lowering the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases, patients suffering from birch pollen allergy can develop cross-reactivity after consumption of fresh tomatoes. The aim of this study was to develop an analytical method for the quantification of the birch-pollen homologous allergen Sola l 4 in various tomatoes cultivars. Furthermore, the effect of conventional or organic cultivation as well as processing techniques on Sola l 4 content was investigated. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 07.03.2018 Interview with: Emily Clarke McGowan, MD Assistant Professor, Allergy/Clinical Immunology Charlottesville, VA 22908-1355 What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Folate (vitamin B9) is available in either the natural or synthetic forms and has been shown to reduce the risk of neural tube defects, like spina bifida, in newborns.  Folic acid, the synthetic form of folate, is widely consumed in the United States in infant formula, supplements, vitamins, and fortified grains.  When folic acid is consumed in high quantities, some of this folic acid does not undergo further metabolism and circulates in the blood as "unmetabolized folic acid" (UMFA). In this study, we measured total folate, UMFA, and 5-methyltetrahydrofolate (5-MTHF), the main folate metabolite involved in biochemical processes in the body, in a subset of children from the Boston Birth Cohort. While mean levels of total folate at birth were lower among those who developed food allergy, mean levels of the synthetic folic acid derivative, UMFA, were higher.  There was no association between total folate, 5-MTHF, or UMFA levels in early life and the development of food allergy.  (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 29.12.2017 Interview with: Sandra Andorf PhD Kim and Ping Li Director of Computational Biology Sean N. Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University Instructor, Nadeau Lab Department of Medicine, Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care Medicine Stanford University School of Medicine What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Food allergies are on the rise in the world. Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies, which includes around 6 million children. Of people with food allergies, 30-40% are allergic to more than one food and therefore these people have a greater risk for an accidental ingestion resulting in an allergic reaction or anaphylaxis. Currently there is no FDA approved treatment for food allergies but oral immunotherapy, a treatment in which the patient eats small but slowly increasing doses of their allergen until they can tolerate a specified dose, was shown in research settings to be safe in children and adults for up to 5 foods in parallel. In this trial, we studied the efficacy and safety of Omalizmuab (an anti-IgE drug) treatment with oral immunotherapy in multifood allergic participants versus placebo with oral immunotherapy for a total of 9 months. We found that 83% of the participants who received Omalizumab could tolerate at least 2 g of at least two different food allergens at the end of the trial compared to 33% of those who received placebo. The participants that received Omalizumab were also desensitized faster, meaning they were on average able to eat 2 g of each of their allergic foods earlier in the treatment. Furthermore, we could show that the use of Omalizumab and the fast updosing is safe. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 26.11.2017 Interview with: “Peanuts” by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0Vicki McWilliam Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Food allergy affects up to 10% of children and 2-3% of adults, and appears to increasing in prevalence. The rise in food allergy prevalence has coincided with increased reports of anaphylaxis. Previous research has shown that adolescents are most at risk of experiencing adverse food reactions and appear to be at higher risk of anaphylaxis fatalities but are an understudied age group in food allergy research. In a large population representative sample of 10,000 10-14 year olds in Melbourne, Australia we found that alarmingly over 40% had experienced an allergic reaction in the past year and almost 10% reported potentially life threatening reactions. Consistent with other research peanut and tree nuts were the most common trigger foods for reactions and those with nut allergy were most at risk of anaphylaxis. Having more than two food allergies doubled the risk of a food allergic reaction compared to those with a single food allergy. Surprisingly, reactions were found to occur most commonly at home rather than restaurants or school. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews / 18.10.2017 Interview with: “Peanuts” by Daniella Segura is licensed under CC BY 2.0 Aida Eslami, Ph.D. Postdoctoral Research Fellow Dr. Denise Daley's research group Centre for Heart and Lung innovation Providence Heart + Lung Institute St. Paul's Hospital Vancouver, BC What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Peanut allergy and food allergies in general are caused by a combination of both genetic and environmental factors. Currently, the genetic basis of peanut allergy is unclear due to a lack of studies on food related allergies. Our study was comprised of 850 individuals with peanut allergy from the Canadian Peanut Allergy Registry (CanPAR), and nearly 1,000 individuals without peanut allergy and other food allergies. We looked at over 7.5 million genetic markers through a genome-wide association study (GWAS) to identify genes potentially associated with peanut allergy and other food allergies. Our findings are based on results from the CanPAR in combination with the results from other countries: USA, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands. We identified a gene that is associated with both peanut allergy and other food allergies. This gene is called c11orf30/EMSY and has previously been shown to be involved in other conditions such as asthma, eczema, and allergic rhinitis. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Microbiome, Pediatrics / 04.03.2015

Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of Interview with: Anita Kozyrskyj Ph.D Professor, Department of Pediatrics University of Alberta Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Prof. Kozyrskyj: Our study determined what "good" gut bacteria were present in 166 full-term infants enrolled in the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study. Funded by CIHR and AllerGen NCE, this landmark study involves more than 3,500 families and their newborn infants across Canada. Gut bacteria were identified by DNA sequences extracted from infant poop. Infants with a fewer number of different bacteria in their gut at 3 months of age were more likely to become sensitized to foods such as milk, egg or peanut, by the time they were 1 years old. Infants who developed food sensitization also had altered levels of two specific types of bacteria, Enterobacteriaceae and Bacteroidaceae, compared to infants who didn’t. (more…)
Allergies, Author Interviews, Pediatrics / 12.05.2014 Interview with: Julie Wang, MD Associate Professor of Pediatrics Division of Allergy and Immunology Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai New York, NY 10029   MedicalResearch: What are the main findings of the study? Dr. Wang: The results of this study demonstrate that differences in prevalence of reported food allergies exist in elementary schools representing diverse socioeconomic and racial/ethnic characteristic.  In this study, we conducted a survey at 4 elementary schools in New York City, 2 private schools that had a predominantly White student body with over 80% of families having paid a full tuition of over $35,000 per year and 2 public charter schools that had a primarily Black and Hispanic student body where over 90% of students qualified for free or reduced price school lunch.  The results show a high rate of reported food allergy, with rates significantly higher in the private school population as compared to the public charter school population. (more…)