Special Issue "Food Allergies"

A special issue of Medicina (ISSN 1010-660X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 August 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carlo Caffarelli
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Guest Editor
Department of Medicine and Surgery, University of Parma, 43121 Parma, Italy
Interests: food allergy; asthma; anaphylaxis; recombinant allergen; allergen-specific immunotherapy; urticaria; atopic dermatitis; allergic rhinoconjunctivitis
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Giampaolo Ricci
Website
Co-Guest Editor
Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Interests: allergy; allergy diagnosis; allergens; allergic asthma
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food allergy represents one of the most intriguing fields in atopic patients. Novel knowledges on pathogenesis in which the skin represents a possible route of sensitization have opened new clinical and therapeutic approaches. Component-resolved diagnosis with recombinant allergens has improved the diagnosis and also the clinical decision, even if in some cases it has increased the uncertainty about the need of prescribing adrenaline.
Pediatric patients are also the field in which we should find innovative procedures to prevent the evolution of allergic diseases toward respiratory allergic diseases. Better understanding of pathogenesis and treatment means more appropriate restricted diets and improvement in the quality of life of children and their parents.
The purpose of this Special Issue is to update knowledge on epidemiology, pathogenesis, and treatment in children with food allergies.

We remain at your disposal for additional questions.


Prof. Carlo Caffarelli
Prof. Giampaolo Ricci
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • food allergy
  • cow’s milk
  • hen’s egg
  • asthma
  • anaphylaxis
  • recombinant allergen

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Atopic Dermatitis on Cow’s Milk Allergy in Children
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080460 - 10 Aug 2019
Abstract
Background and Objectives: Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMA) is the most common allergy in children. The natural history of CMA is generally favorable and the majority of children reach tolerance during childhood, even if studies show variable results. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is [...] Read more.
Background and Objectives: Cow’s milk protein allergy (CMA) is the most common allergy in children. The natural history of CMA is generally favorable and the majority of children reach tolerance during childhood, even if studies show variable results. Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a complex disease from an immunological point of view. It is characterized by an impaired skin barrier function and is often the first clinical manifestation of the so-called “atopic march”. The aim of our study is to evaluate, in a cohort of children with CMA, if the presence of AD in the first months of life can influence the atopic status of patients, the tolerance acquisition to cow’s milk, the level of specific IgE (sIgE), and the sensitization towards food and/or inhalant allergens. Materials and Methods: We enrolled 100 children with a diagnosis of CMA referred to our Pediatric Allergology Unit, aged 1–24 months at the time of the first visit. Results: 71 children had AD and 29 did not. The mean follow-up was 5.28 years. The CMA manifestations were mainly cutaneous, especially in children with AD (91.6% vs. 51.7%; P < 0.001). Patients with AD showed higher rates of polysensitization to foods and higher levels of both total IgE and sIgE for milk, casein, wheat, peanuts, and cat dander at different ages when compared to patients without AD. We analyzed the presence of IgE sensitization for the main foods and inhalants at various ages in the two groups of patients: a statistically significant difference emerged in the two groups of patients for milk, yolk and egg white, hazelnut, peanuts, soybean, grass pollen and cat dander. Meanwhile, we did not find significant differences in terms of tolerance acquisition toward cow’s milk, which was nonetheless reached around 5 years of age in 61% of patients. The level of cow’s milk sIgE at the age of 5 years was significantly higher in the group of patients who did not acquire tolerance (38.38 vs. 5.22 kU/L; P < 0.0001). Conclusions: An early barrier deficiency appears to promote the development of allergic sensitization, but does not seem to influence the acquisition of tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing the Sensitizing and Allergenic Potential of the Albumin and Globulin Fractions from Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) Grains before and after an Extrusion Process
Medicina 2019, 55(3), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55030072 - 20 Mar 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: The first cases of food allergy to amaranth grain have recently been published. This pseudocereal is considered hypoallergenic, and there is scarce information about the allergenic potential of amaranth proteins, either before or after food processing. Objective: To evaluate, in a mouse [...] Read more.
Background: The first cases of food allergy to amaranth grain have recently been published. This pseudocereal is considered hypoallergenic, and there is scarce information about the allergenic potential of amaranth proteins, either before or after food processing. Objective: To evaluate, in a mouse model of food allergy, the sensitizing and allergenic potential of extruded and non-extruded albumin and globulin fractions from amaranth grains. Materials and Methods: Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) flour was obtained and the albumin and globulin fractions isolated. These protein fractions were also obtained after flour extrusion. An intraperitoneal 28-day protocol was carried out to evaluate the sensitizing and allergenic potential of the proteins. The common and rarely allergenic proteins ovalbumin and potato acidic phosphatase were utilized as reference. Specific IgE and IgG antibodies were evaluated for all the proteins tested. Mast cell protease-1 (mMCP-1) responses were evaluated in serum samples collected after intragastric challenges with the proteins of interest. All serological evaluations were carried out using ELISA. Results: Mice were sensitized to the non-extruded albumin fraction from amaranth grains and to ovalbumin (p = 0.0045). The extrusion process of amaranth proteins abrogated the IgE responses triggered under non-extruded conditions (p = 0.0147). mMCP-1 responses were significantly detected in the group of mice sensitized to ovalbumin (p = 0.0138), but not in others. Conclusions: The non-extruded albumin fraction from amaranth has the potential to sensitize BALB/c mice, but this sensitizing potential fails to induce detectable serum levels of the mast cell degranulation marker mMCP-1 after intragastric challenges. Furthermore, the extrusion process abolished the sensitization potential of the amaranth albumins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT): A Personalized Medicine
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100684 - 13 Oct 2019
Abstract
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), a promising allergen-specific approach in the management of Food Allergies (FA), is based on the administration of increasing doses of the culprit food until reaching a maintenance dose. Each step should be adapted to the patient, and OIT should be [...] Read more.
Oral Immunotherapy (OIT), a promising allergen-specific approach in the management of Food Allergies (FA), is based on the administration of increasing doses of the culprit food until reaching a maintenance dose. Each step should be adapted to the patient, and OIT should be considered an individualized treatment. Recent studies focused on the standardization and identification of novel biomarkers in order to correlate endotypes with phenotypes in the field of FA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessReview
Oral Food Challenge
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 651; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100651 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Oral food challenge (OFC) is the gold standard for diagnosis of IgE-mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergy. It is usually conducted to make diagnosis, to monitor for resolution of a food allergy, or to identify the threshold of responsiveness. Clinical history and lab [...] Read more.
Oral food challenge (OFC) is the gold standard for diagnosis of IgE-mediated and non-IgE mediated food allergy. It is usually conducted to make diagnosis, to monitor for resolution of a food allergy, or to identify the threshold of responsiveness. Clinical history and lab tests have poor diagnostic accuracy and they are not sufficient to make a strict diagnosis of food allergy. Higher concentrations of food-specific IgE or larger allergy prick skin test wheal sizes correlate with an increased likelihood of a reaction upon ingestion. Several cut-off values, to make a diagnosis of some food allergies (e.g., milk, egg, peanut, etc.) without performing an OFC, have been suggested, but their use is still debated. The oral food challenge should be carried out by experienced physicians in a proper environment equipped for emergency, in order to carefully assess symptoms and signs and correctly manage any possible allergic reaction. This review does not intend to analyse comprehensively all the issues related to the diagnosis of food allergies, but to summarize some practical information on the OFC procedure, as reported in a recent issue by The Expert Review of Food Allergy Committee of Italian Society of Pediatric Allergy and Immunology (SIAIP). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessReview
Pollen-Food Allergy Syndrome: A not so Rare Disease in Childhood
Medicina 2019, 55(10), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55100641 - 26 Sep 2019
Cited by 9
Abstract
Seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR) affects millions of people worldwide, particularly in childhood and adolescence. Pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS) is a common adverse reaction occurring few minutes after the consumption of vegetable foods in patients with pollen-induced SAR. PFAS has rarely been investigated [...] Read more.
Seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (SAR) affects millions of people worldwide, particularly in childhood and adolescence. Pollen food allergy syndrome (PFAS) is a common adverse reaction occurring few minutes after the consumption of vegetable foods in patients with pollen-induced SAR. PFAS has rarely been investigated in the pediatric population, as it has been mainly examined as an adult disease. Recent studies suggested that PFAS might be more frequent in childhood than previously recognized. The present review aims to give an overview of the epidemiology, pathophysiology, diagnosis, management and prognosis of PFAS in children with SAR-induced by pollens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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Open AccessReview
Asthma and Food Allergy: Which Risks?
Medicina 2019, 55(9), 509; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55090509 - 21 Aug 2019
Abstract
Over the past few decades, an increase in the prevalence of asthma and food allergy has been observed in the pediatric population. In infants, food sensitization, particularly to egg, has increased the risk of developing allergic asthma. This is even more likely if [...] Read more.
Over the past few decades, an increase in the prevalence of asthma and food allergy has been observed in the pediatric population. In infants, food sensitization, particularly to egg, has increased the risk of developing allergic asthma. This is even more likely if sensitization to food allergens occurs early within the first few years of life. It is indeed known that both diseases may be present simultaneously in the pediatric population, but coexistence may negatively influence the severity of both conditions by increasing the risk of life-threatening asthmatic episodes as well as food-related anaphylaxis. Therefore, an accurate clinical and phenotype characterization of this high-risk group of children with both asthma and food allergy and a more aggressive management might lead to reducing related morbidity and mortality. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview on the close link between food allergy and asthma and their negative mutual influence. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Hazardous Medications in Children with Egg, Red Meat, Gelatin, Fish, and Cow’s Milk Allergy
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 501; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080501 - 19 Aug 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Childhood food allergies are a growing public health problem. Once the offending food allergens have been identified, a strict elimination diet is necessary in treatment or prevention of most of the allergic reactions. Accidental food ingestion can lead to severe anaphylaxis. Food- derived [...] Read more.
Childhood food allergies are a growing public health problem. Once the offending food allergens have been identified, a strict elimination diet is necessary in treatment or prevention of most of the allergic reactions. Accidental food ingestion can lead to severe anaphylaxis. Food- derived substances can be used in medications at various stages of the manufacturing process. In this review, the possible roles of medications which may contain egg, red meat, gelatin, and fish allergens on allergic reactions in children with food allergy were evaluated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessReview
Component-Resolved Diagnosis in Food Allergies
Medicina 2019, 55(8), 498; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55080498 - 18 Aug 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) in food allergies is an approach utilized to characterize the molecular components of each allergen involved in a specific IgE (sIgE)-mediated response. In the clinical practice, CRD can improve diagnostic accuracy and assist the physician in many aspects of the [...] Read more.
Component-resolved diagnostics (CRD) in food allergies is an approach utilized to characterize the molecular components of each allergen involved in a specific IgE (sIgE)-mediated response. In the clinical practice, CRD can improve diagnostic accuracy and assist the physician in many aspects of the allergy work-up. CRD allows for discriminatory co-sensitization versus cross-sensitization phenomena and can be useful to stratify the clinical risk associated with a specific sensitization pattern, in addition to the oral food challenge (OFC). Despite this, there are still some unmet needs, such as the risk of over-prescribing unnecessary elimination diets and adrenaline auto-injectors. Moreover, up until now, none of the identified sIgE cutoff have shown a specificity and sensitivity profile as accurate as the OFC, which is the gold standard in diagnosing food allergies. In light of this, the aim of this review is to summarize the most relevant concepts in the field of CRD in food allergy and to provide a practical approach useful in clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessReview
Wheat Allergy in Children: A Comprehensive Update
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 400; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070400 - 23 Jul 2019
Cited by 2
Abstract
Gluten-related disorders are very common in pediatric patients. Wheat allergy is triggered by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanism; its prevalence varies according to the age and region, and in Europe has been estimated to be lower than 1%. Many studies investigated the potential [...] Read more.
Gluten-related disorders are very common in pediatric patients. Wheat allergy is triggered by an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-dependent mechanism; its prevalence varies according to the age and region, and in Europe has been estimated to be lower than 1%. Many studies investigated the potential role of several external factors that can influence the risk to developing wheat allergy, but results are still inconclusive. It can be responsible for several clinical manifestations depending on the route of allergen exposure: food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis (FDEIA), occupational rhinitis or asthma (also known as baker’s asthma), and contact urticaria. The prognosis of IgE-mediated wheat allergy in children is generally favorable, with the majority of children becoming tolerant by school age. Patients who experienced an anaphylactic reaction prior to 3 years of age and patients with higher level of wheat- or ω-5 gliadin-specific IgE antibodies seem to be at higher risk of persistent wheat allergy. The current management of patients is dietary avoidance. Nowadays, oral immunotherapy has been proposed for wheat allergy with promising results, even if further studies are necessary to establish the best protocol in order to promote tolerance in wheat-allergic children. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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Open AccessReview
Prevention of Food Allergy: The Significance of Early Introduction
Medicina 2019, 55(7), 323; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55070323 - 30 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Over the last two decades, the prevalence of food allergies has registered a significant increase in Westernized societies, potentially due to changes in environmental exposure and lifestyle. The pathogenesis of food allergies is complex and includes genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. New evidence [...] Read more.
Over the last two decades, the prevalence of food allergies has registered a significant increase in Westernized societies, potentially due to changes in environmental exposure and lifestyle. The pathogenesis of food allergies is complex and includes genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors. New evidence has highlighted the role of the intestinal microbiome in the maintenance of the immune tolerance to foods and the potential pathogenic role of early percutaneous exposure to allergens. The recent increase in food allergy rates has led to a reconsideration of prevention strategies for atopic diseases, mainly targeting the timing of the introduction of solid foods into infants’ diet. Early recommendation for high atopy risk infants to delay the introduction of potential food allergens, such as cow’s milk, egg, and peanut, until after the first year of life, has been rescinded, as emerging evidence has shown that these approaches are not effective in preventing food allergies. More recently, high-quality clinical trials have suggested an opposite approach, which promotes early introduction of potential food allergens into infants’ diet as a means to prevent food allergies. This evidence has led to the production of new guidelines recommending early introduction of peanut as a preventive strategy for peanut allergy. However, clinical trials investigating whether this preventive dietary approach could also apply to other types of food allergens have reported ambiguous results. This review focuses on the latest high-quality evidence from randomized controlled clinical trials examining the timing of solid food introduction as a strategy to prevent food allergies and also discusses the possible implications of early complementary feeding on both the benefits and the total duration of breastfeeding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessReview
Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome: Proposals for New Definitions
Medicina 2019, 55(6), 216; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55060216 - 28 May 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Acute food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is a non-IgE-mediated allergy and is characterized by repetitive profuse vomiting episodes, often in association with pallor, lethargy, and diarrhea, presenting within 1–4 h from the ingestion of a triggering food. In 2017, the international consensus guidelines [...] Read more.
Acute food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES) is a non-IgE-mediated allergy and is characterized by repetitive profuse vomiting episodes, often in association with pallor, lethargy, and diarrhea, presenting within 1–4 h from the ingestion of a triggering food. In 2017, the international consensus guidelines for the diagnosis and management of FPIES were published. They cover all aspects of this syndrome, which in recent decades has attracted the attention of pediatric allergists. In particular, the consensus proposed innovative diagnostic criteria. However, the diagnosis of acute FPIES is still currently discussed because the interest in this disease is relatively recent and, above all, there are no validated panels of diagnostic criteria. We propose some ideas for reflection on the diagnostic and suspicion criteria of acute FPIES with exemplary stories of children certainly or probably suffering from acute FPIES. For example, we believe that new definitions should be produced for mild forms of FPIES, multiple forms, and those with IgE-mediated symptoms. Moreover, we propose two clinical criteria to suspect acute FPIES and to refer the child to the diagnostic oral food challenge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
Open AccessReview
Food Allergies: Current and Future Treatments
Medicina 2019, 55(5), 120; https://doi.org/10.3390/medicina55050120 - 01 May 2019
Cited by 6
Abstract
Food allergies are an increasingly public health problem, affecting up to 10% of children and causing a significant burden on affected patients, resulting in dietary restrictions, fear of accidental ingestion and related risk of severe reactions, as well as a reduced quality of [...] Read more.
Food allergies are an increasingly public health problem, affecting up to 10% of children and causing a significant burden on affected patients, resulting in dietary restrictions, fear of accidental ingestion and related risk of severe reactions, as well as a reduced quality of life. Currently, there is no specific cure for a food allergy, so the only available management is limited to strict dietary avoidance, education on prompt recognition of symptoms, and emergency treatment of adverse reactions. Several allergen specific- and nonspecific-therapies, aiming to acquire a persistent food tolerance, are under investigation as potential treatments; however, to date, only immunotherapy has been identified as the most promising therapeutic approach for food allergy treatment. The aim of this review is to provide an updated overview on changes in the treatment landscape for food allergies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Food Allergies)
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