HealthDay News — Extended peanut sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) demonstrates clinically significant desensitization in children with peanut allergies, according to a study published online Sept. 4 in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Edwin H. Kim, MD, from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill, and colleagues investigated the safety, clinical effectiveness, and immunologic changes with long-term SLIT (2 mg peanut protein daily for up to 5 years) in children (aged 1 to 11 years) with peanut allergy. Desensitization was tested through a double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge (up to 5000 mg of peanut protein) after completion of SLIT dosing.

The researchers report that of the 37 participants who completed 3 to 5 years of peanut SLIT, 32 successfully consumed ≥750 mg during the food challenge. Twelve participants passed the 5000-mg food challenge without clinical symptoms; 10 of the 12 demonstrated sustained unresponsiveness after 2 to 4 weeks. With 4.8% of the doses, side effects were reported, with the most common being transient oropharyngeal itching. It was uncommon for side effects to require antihistamine treatment (0.21%), and none required epinephrine. After peanut SLIT, peanut skin test wheal, peanut-specific immunoglobulin E, and basophil activation decreased significantly, while peanut-specific immunoglobulin G4 increased significantly.

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“With a good safety profile and simple administration, peanut sublingual immunotherapy represents a viable alternative to other peanut allergy treatments in development,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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