Egg oral immunotherapy can induce desensitization and clinical tolerance in some patients

An American multi-center research team has concluded that egg oral immunotherapy (OIT) can induce desensitization in most patients and clinical tolerance in some.

Researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and Arkansas Children's Hospital, Little Rock, and other institutions, administered daily OIT with egg white (n=40) or placebo (n=15) to egg-allergic children (ages 5-18). Initial escalation, build-up, and maintenance (2000 mg) phases were followed by an oral food challenge (OFC) to egg white at 10, 22, and 24 months. The researchers evaluated immune mechanisms.

A total of 55 subjects enrolled; 15% of egg OIT and 13.3% of placebo subjects withdrew before 24 months. Following data analysis, the researchers found that after 10 months of therapy, 0/15 (0%) of placebo and 22/40 (55%) of egg OIT subjects were desensitized. After 22 months, 30/40 (75%) of the subjects in the active arm were desensitized.

Egg OIT was then stopped for 6-8 weeks and subjects underwent another OFC; those data showed that 11/40 (27.5%) of egg OIT subjects passed this OFC and were tolerant. Symptoms during year one of dosing were mild to moderate; 75% of 11,860 egg doses and 96% of 4018 placebo doses were symptom-free.