At present there is no effective therapy for IgE-mediated food allergy, and patients must rely upon food-allergen avoidance. Unfortunately, the accidental ingestion of allergen-containing foods leading to potentially severe reactions is common. Definitive therapies for food allergy are desperately needed. Although rush immunotherapy has been reported to induce tolerance in some patients, the rate of maintenance of tolerance was low, and there was an undesirably high incidence of adverse reactions. New knowledge of the immunological mechanisms underlying allergic disease has expanded the potential therapeutic options for food allergy. The establishment of animal models of food hypersensitivity, which include sensitization by the oral route and anaphylaxis upon oral challenge, have facilitated the investigation of therapies for food allergy. Novel approaches under investigation include the reduction of IgE by the infusion of anti-IgE antibodies, vaccination with plasmid DNA, the use of anti-allergy immunostimulatory sequences, cytokines and bacterial agents, immunotherapy with mutated proteins and peptides, and complementary medicine such as Chinese herbs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-278
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


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