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Health Agencies Update
August 22 2012

Egg Allergy Treatment

JAMA. 2012;308(8):753. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10160

Exposure to tiny amounts of powdered egg white over many months may help resolve egg allergies for many children, according to results of a study funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

A team of researchers conducted a clinical trial of 55 children aged 5 to 11 years with an egg allergy to determine whether exposure to tiny amounts of egg over time might desensitize children to egg. This strategy has previously shown promise for individuals with peanut allergy (Burkes AW et al. N Engl J Med. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa1200435 [published online July 19, 2012]). The children were randomized to receive a placebo or an oral dose of powdered egg white daily. At 10 months, more than half of the treated children were desensitized, and at 22 months, 75% of the treated children were desensitized. None of the children receiving placebo were desensitized. After 22 months, desensitized children discontinued therapy and avoided egg for 4 to 6 weeks; of these individuals, 28% remained desensitized when retested.

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