Exposure to peanut proteins in household dust may trigger peanut allergy

Exposure to peanut proteins in household dust may be a trigger of peanut allergy, according to a study published today in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The study was conducted in 359 children aged 3-15 months taking part in the NIH-sponsored Consortium for Food Allergy Research (CoFAR) study. These children were at high risk of developing a peanut allergy based on having likely milk or egg allergy or eczema. The study found that the risk of having strong positive allergy tests to peanut increased with increasingly higher amounts of peanut found in living room dust.

"The relationship was especially strong among children with more severe atopic dermatitis (eczema), suggesting that exposure to peanut in the environment through an impaired skin barrier could be a risk," said Hugh Sampson, MD, Professor of Pediatrics, Dean for Translational Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine, Director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at The Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Principal Investigator for the CoFAR.

Scott H. Sicherer, MD, a lead investigator for the study and the Elliot and Roslyn Jaffe Professor of Pediatrics at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, noted that it is too early to make recommendations based on these results and that more research is needed. "We need to see if early interventions, such as earlier food consumption, improving the damaged skin barrier, or reducing household exposure will counter the development of the allergy."

Source: The Mount Sinai Hospital / Mount Sinai School of Medicine

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