Certain patients treated with egg oral immunotherapy (OIT) are likely to continue consuming and tolerating egg 5 years after treatment, according to research presented this week in San Francisco at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology (AAAAI). 

Patients allergic to egg were randomly assigned to receive egg OIT for up to 4 years or a placebo. Patients who passed oral food challenges while still on egg OIT therapy were considered desensitized and underwent additional oral food challenges, as well as open feeding of egg 4 to 6 weeks after stopping therapy to assess sustained unresponsiveness (SU). For 5 years following treatment, patients were given long-term follow-up questionnaires to determine continued tolerance of egg.

At study completion, 50% of patients were classified with SU, 28% as desensitized (without SU) and 22% as not desensitized. Of those classified with SU, 93% were ingesting some form of egg compared to 64% of the placebo group. Of SU classified patients, 100% were able to ingest baked and concentrated egg compared to desensitized, not desensitized, and placebo groups (43%, 17% and 36% respectively).

“Patients classified with sustained unresponsiveness were less likely to report adverse reactions, and more likely to report greater dietary egg intake,” Robert A. Wood, MD, 2018-2019 AAAAI President, who was an author of the research, explained in a press release about the study. “This study conveys that egg oral immunotherapy can be a very effective treatment for egg allergies. Future studies will help us determine who will most benefit from egg oral immunotherapy, especially recognizing that even some patients on placebo were doing well five years later given that some children will naturally outgrow their egg allergy. We will use this information to design future studies and monitor the long-term implications of egg oral immunotherapy.”

Reference
Sampson HA, Leung DYM, Jones SM, et al. Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) Induces More Rapid Desensitization and Sustained Unresponsiveness (SU) in Egg-Allergic, Baked-egg Tolerant Children than the Addition of Daily Baked-egg Products. J All Clin Immunol. 2019;  143(2): Supplement, Page AB108.