Partial Egg Consumption Modifies the Diagnostic Performance of Allergy Tests to Predict Outcome of Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Food Challenges to Egg

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Background: Many children are consuming some egg when they are diagnosed with egg allergy. We hypothesized that egg consumption could modify the diagnostic performance of allergy tests. Objective: To stratify diagnostic performance of tests according to egg consumption status. Methods: The BAT2 study (NCT03309488) participants underwent oral food challenge (OFC), food-frequency questionnaires, skin prick test (SPT), specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) and specific immunoglobulin G4 (sIgG4) and basophil activation test (BAT). Results: At study entry, 45% of participants reported partial egg consumption (“consumers”) and 55% were avoiding egg strictly (“avoiders”). Avoiders had larger SPT (P < .001), higher BAT to egg (P < .001), sIgE to egg white (EW; P = .001) and to ovalbumin (OVA; P = .001), but not to ovomucoid (P = .231). Consumers had higher levels of sIgG4 to all egg allergens (P < .001) than avoiders. In consumers, the test with the best diagnostic performance was BAT (area under the curve [AUC] = .912) followed by SPT to raw egg (AUC = 0.805), EW-sIgE (AUC = 0.738), and OVA-sIgE (AUC = 0.732). In avoiders, the best tests were BAT (AUC = 0.834) and EW-sIgE (AUC = 0.833) followed by OVA-sIgE (AUC = 0.793) and SPT to EW (AUC=0.789). Using 100% sensitivity and 100% specificity cut-offs, the proportion of patients requiring OFC were 33% for BAT, 53% for SPT to raw egg, 61% for OVA-sIgE, and 73% for EW-sIgE for consumers; and 73% for BAT, 79% for EW-sIgE, and 93% for SPT to EW for avoiders. Conclusions: The diagnostic performance of tests is influenced by the immunomodulatory effect of egg consumption. BAT is the most reliable test and reduced the need for OFC, particularly in partial egg consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)660-669.e5
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2024


  • Baked egg
  • Basophil activation test
  • Egg allergy
  • Egg consumption
  • Food-frequency questionnaires

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