Food allergy: an updated review on pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention and management

Main Article Content

Mauro Calvani
Caterina Anania
Carlo Caffarelli
Alberto Martelli
Michele Miraglia Del Giudice
Claudio Cravidi
Marzia Duse
Sara Manti
Maria Angela Tosca
Fabio Cardinale
Elena Chiappini
Francesca Olivero
Gianluigi Marseglia

Keywords

food allergy, pathogenesis, diagnosis, prevention, management, children

Abstract

Food allergy (FA) is an adverse immunologic response triggered by normally innocuous food protein antigens.  FA can be broadly classified into those that are IgE mediated, those that are mediated by both IgE-dependent and IgE-independent pathways (mixed), and those that are not IgE mediated  Immunoglobulin E. (IgE)-mediated reaction is characterized by rapid onset of symptoms involving respiratory, gastrointestinal, dermatologic and cardiovascular systems; mixed and non-IgE-mediated has a longer onset and manifests primary in the gastrointestinal tract and skin. The diagnosis of food allergy is based on clinical history, diagnostic testing (skin prick test and allergen-specific IgE levels in the serum), elimination diet and, oral food challenge. In recent years the diagnosis and treatment of pediatric FA have notably improved. In the diagnostic pathway of FA an important recent innovation is the CRD introduction.  This resulted in the possibility of improving diagnostic accuracy through FA prediction severity and prognosis and thereby decreasing the OCF necessity. Recent studies emphasize the possibility of preventing FA through early introduction of food (peanuts and egg) to high-risk infants. FA management is based on avoidance of offending food and prompt treatment of allergic reaction. Currently under study are recently developed treatment approaches for FA management including specific OIT.

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