This is a study in which increasing amounts of peanut flour are given to the children who
are peanut allergic to desensitize them to peanut. The hypothesis is that the peanut
allergic patients would benefit from the desensitization by assuring that they will not have
life-threatening allergic reactions to contaminating amounts of peanut in other foods and
eventually it would cause them to lose their clinical sensitivity to peanut.
Peanut allergy is one of the most serious of the immediate hypersensitivity reactions to
foods in terms of persistence and severity of the reaction and appears to be a growing
problem. Due to the persistence of this reaction and the lack of effective treatment,
allergen-specific immunotherapy (IT)using the oral route of ingestion is currently being
examined as a treatment option. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms of
peanut-specific IT is vital to ensure the eventual, successful treatment of peanut-allergic
This study will examine not only the child's response to the oral peanut flour but will also
examine the changes in the immunological system which is responsible for the peanut allergy.
- Subjects between 1 and 16 years of age
- Diagnosed peanut allergy by either: 1) a positive prick skin test to peanuts, CAP
FEIA of 15 or greater and a history of significant clinical symptoms within one hour
after ingestion of peanuts or 2) a positive prick skin test to peanuts, CAP FEIA of ≥
7 and a history of a clinical reaction to peanut ingestion within the past 6 months.
- A family that will be able to be compliant with all study visits
- Subjects with a history of severe anaphylaxis to peanut
- Subjects with a medical history that would prevent a DBPCFC/OFC to peanut
- Subjects unable to cooperate with challenge procedures or unable to be reached by
telephone for follow-up