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Safety of Oral Food Challenge for Individuals with Low Egg White and Ovomucoid-Specific IgE Antibodies.

INTRODUCTION: During an oral food challenge (OFC), there is a risk of adverse reactions, including anaphylaxis. Therefore, the physician should carefully conduct the OFC. This study aimed to evaluate the OFC results in individuals with low levels of egg white (EW)- and ovomucoid (OVM)-specific immunoglobulin E (sIgE) and the safety of a hen's egg (HE) OFC in these individuals.

METHODS: A total of 2,058 individuals with low EW- or OVM-sIgE underwent HE-OFC at two institutions in Kumamoto prefecture, located in the western area of Japan, between January 1, 2017, and December 31, 2021, within 1 year of recorded sIgE measurements. The ImmunoCAP systems were used to measure sIgEs. The HE-OFC test was performed according to the 2017 Food Allergy Guidelines in an open and unblinded method.

RESULTS: Five hundred and one individuals (24.3%) had low EW-sIgE levels (class 2 or lower), and 926 (45.0%) had low OVM-sIgE levels (class 2 or lower). Individuals with low EW-sIgE had lower total IgE and OVM-sIgE than did those with high EW-sIgE (greater than class 2). Those with low OVM-sIgE had lower total IgE and EW-sIgE than did those with high OVM-sIgE (greater than class 2). Among the individuals with low EW-sIgE, 86.4% (433/501 cases) passed the OFC without symptoms. Among the individuals with low OVF-sIgE, 82.6% (765/926 cases) passed the OFC without symptoms.

CONCLUSION: More than 80% of individuals with suspected IgE-dependent HE allergy and low levels of EW- or OVM-specific IgE were able to consume at least a small amount of HE. As the OFC results are independent of the loading dose in cases with low EW- or OVM-sIgE, a medium-dose HE-OFC may be performed safely in individuals with no history of anaphylaxis.

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