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Are both early egg introduction and eczema treatment necessary for primary prevention of egg allergy?

Kenji Matsumoto, Rintaro Mori, Celine Miyazaki, Yukihiro Ohya, Hirohisa Saito
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 2018, 141 (6): 1997-2001.e3
The Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) study proved that early introduction of peanut significantly prevented the development of peanut allergy. However, in regard to similar attempts to prevent egg allergy through early egg introduction, the Prevention of Egg Allergy in High-risk Infants with Eczema (PETIT) study is the only randomized intervention trial to show a statistically significant effect. Meta-analysis of those studies indicated that neither the total amount nor pretreatment of egg showed any effect on egg allergy at the age of 12 months. However, raw egg powder resulted in a significantly higher prevalence of allergic reactions at initial introduction, whereas use of boiled egg was much safer. The prevalence of atopic dermatitis/eczema at introduction of egg correlated significantly with the subsequent prevalence of allergic reactions at initial introduction. In addition, the prevalence of egg allergy in the late introduction group correlated significantly with the prevalence of atopic dermatitis at introduction, even when the atopic dermatitis was proactively treated with a topical corticosteroid ointment. It is definitely true that the number of trials and number of participants in each trial are insufficient for drawing firm conclusions, especially regarding the optimal dose, raw versus boiled, when to start, and for whom to intervene. Therefore we propose various studies that should be performed to generate stronger data and conclusions. However, on the basis of the most recent results, we postulate that simultaneous intervention by both early boiled egg introduction and eczema treatment is probably indispensable for primary prevention of egg allergy.


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