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Recent advances in the management of nut allergy

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Elise Midun, Suzana Radulovic, Helen Brough, Jean Christoph Caubet

Original languageEnglish
Article number100491
JournalWorld Allergy Organization Journal
Issue number1
PublishedJan 2021

King's Authors


Peanut/tree nut allergy is common and has been associated with particularly severe reactions. Epidemiological data have shown that the prevalence ranges between 0.05% and 4.9% for tree nut and between 0.5% and 3% for peanut. These large variations can be explained by differences in the age of included patients and the geographical region. In addition, the food consumption modality (ie, raw versus roasted) plays a major role, as heat treatment has the capacity to modify the allergenicity of nuts and legumes. Nut allergies tend to persist into adulthood and consequently have a high impact on quality of life. Recently, it has been demonstrated that a significant proportion of nut allergic patients are able to tolerate other nuts. As opposed to the avoidance of all nuts, this approach is currently proposed in several tertiary allergy centers. However, diagnosis of nut allergy is particularly difficult due to co-sensitization leading to high rate of false positive skin prick tests and/or specific IgE to whole allergen extracts. The use of component resolved diagnosis leads to major improvement of diagnosis, particularly to distinguish between primary and secondary nut allergies. The basophil activation test has been suggested to be useful but is still used mainly as a research tool. Thus, diagnosis remains mainly based on the oral food challenge, which is considered as the gold standard. Regarding treatment, avoidance remains the cornerstone of management of nut allergy. Oral immunotherapy is increasingly proposed as an alternative management strategy.

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