Pajno, Giovanni B. Allergy Unit, Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
Caminiti, Lucia Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
Arasi, Stefania Department of Pediatrics, University of Messina, Messina, Italy.
- Immunotherapy for CMA
- Immunotherapy for HEA
- Immunotherapy for peanut allergy
- Safety of OIT
- Future developments
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
Oral immunotherapy (OIT), also known as oral desensitization, is a method of inducing the body's immune system to tolerate a food that causes an allergic overreaction. OIT involves the regular administration (challenge) of small amounts of an allergen (food) by mouth. It is an active treatment of antibody [immunoglobulin E (IgE)]–mediated food allergies, including cow's milk allergy (CMA), hen's egg allergy (HEA), and peanut allergy. The aim of OIT is the achievement of desensitization or tolerance. The desensitization state can be achieved by the majority of the individuals treated with specific immunotherapies. A longer duration of desensitization may result in permanent tolerance. Currently, many questions remain unanswered, involving allergen dosage and formulation, the induction of full tolerance, the transition of OIT to clinical practice, and the risk-to-benefit assessment. Still, the specific active treatment of food allergy is poised for clinically important advances, and the immunomodulatory treatment of allergic diseases has probably found a new tool in OIT.
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