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Reaction phenotypes in IgE-mediated food allergy and anaphylaxis

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Published:30th Apr 2020
Author: Chong KW, Ruiz-Garcia M, Patel N, Boyle RJ, Turner PJ.
Availability: Free full text
Ref.:Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2020 May;124(5):473-478.
Reaction phenotypes in IgE-mediated food allergy and anaphylaxis

Food allergy encompasses a range of food hypersensitivities. Different clinical phenotypes for food allergy likely exist in much the same way as endotype discovery is now a major research theme in asthma. We discuss the emerging evidence for different reaction phenotypes (ie, symptoms experienced after allergen exposure in food allergic individuals) and their relevance for clinical practice.

Data sources: Published and unpublished literature relating to reaction phenotypes in food allergy.
Study selections: Authors assessment of the available data.

Results: Food anaphylaxis may be pathophysiologically different than anaphylaxis caused by nonfood triggers. Currently, there are no robust, clinically useful predictors of severity in food allergy. It is likely that patient-specific reaction phenotypes exist in food allergy, which may affect the risk of severe anaphylaxis. Allergen immunotherapy may modulate these phenotypes.

Conclusion: Data are emerging to confirm our clinical experience that many food allergic patients experience stereotypical symptoms after allergen exposure, both in the community and at supervised oral food challenge, in a manner that varies among patients. Integrating data sets from different cohorts and applying unbiased machine-based learning analyses may demonstrate specific food allergy endotypes in a similar way to asthma. Whether this results in improvements in patient management (eg, through facilitating risk stratification or affecting the decision to prescribe an epinephrine autoinjector and, perhaps, the number of devices) remains to be determined, but given our current inability to predict which patients are most at risk of severe food allergic reactions, this will clearly be an important area of research in the future.

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