Egg allergy is among the most common food allergies in children. One of the most comprehensive examinations of the natural history of egg allergy to date was published in the February 2014 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Researchers from the Consortium of Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) set out to describe the natural course of egg allergy and to identify early predictors of the disease. Over a period of 74 months, they tracked the allergy in 213 children who were between 15 months and 3 years old at the beginning of the study.
By age six, approximately half of these children were able to tolerate egg. Compared to children who were not able to tolerate egg, these children had lower levels of egg-specific IgE, the antibody associated with food allergy. Based on these and other observations, the authors of this study—many of whom serve as advisors to FARE—have developed a calculator that may predict the history of egg allergy in individual patients. Further studies are needed to validate the accuracy of this calculator. The study authors estimate that approximately 50 percent of children with egg allergy will become tolerant to egg by the age of 6. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) was the principal funder of this study.
This article was originally published in the Spring 2014 issue of FARE’s Food Allergy News. Read more of the newsletter here.