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Study of T Cells in Allergy and Resolution

Institutions
Cambridge University
Start date
2004
End date
2009
Objective

This longitudinal study followed 60 children (aged two to 15) with challenge-confirmed egg allergy for three years. Also included in the study were two control groups (sensitised but non-allergic and non sensitised non-egg allergic) of 20 children each. Egg-allergic patients underwent repeated annual open oral egg challenges with well cooked egg. If their response was negative, uncooked (pasteurised) egg was introduced over time to confirm resolution or persistence of allergy. Blood samples were taken and used to measure specific IgE as well as total and specific IgG.

T cell proliferation and T-helper cytokine production (IL-4/10 and interferon-gamma) were measured annually, using frozen peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples and employing flow cytometry and intracellular staining methods to demonstrate changes in children whose allergy resolves or persists. Subjects from both control groups were tested at enrolment and again in the final year of the project.

More information

The immunological mechanisms that induce clinical allergy or resolution are not well established and need further investigation.

There are number important immune molecules involved in food allergy these include:
  • food specific immunoglobulin (Ig) E antibodies in the development and persistence of clinical allergy
  • T-helper 2 lymphocytes for the regulation of specific IgE
  • T regulatory cells and interleukin (IL)10 in resolution of allergy

More information is needed on the role played by T-lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of food allergy, and their relevance for diagnosis and as predictors of severity and likely cross-reactivity.

There is also a need to determine what differences exist between the quantity and/or quality of allergen-specific T-lymphocyte responses in individuals who are sensitised to a particular food allergen and those who are not.

Funding Source
Food Standards Agency
Project source
View this project
Project number
T07042
Categories
Prevention and Control
Bacterial Pathogens
Parasites
Natural Toxins
Viruses and Prions
Chemical Contaminants
Commodities
Eggs