This research project will examine whether all allergenic proteins found in peanut have a potent symptom-provoking ability or if this is limited to some proteins.
<p>At present no diagnostic test predicts severity, although certain proteins to which people are sensitive have been identified as being as associated with severe symptoms.
Concentration of food specific IgE has been shown to be useful in predicting positive food challenges and, for different foods and proteins, specific IgE diagnostic cut off levels need to be set at different concentrations.
<p>Therefore, to further our understanding of the basis for the marked severity and persistence of peanut allergy this study aims to:<ul>
<li>Refine a method for grading of an individual's peanut allergy severity.
<li>Identify proteins that give rise to sensitisation that is associated with clinical symptoms at low allergen doses and severe symptoms at higher doses.
<li>Identify proteins that are capable of causing atopic sensitisation, but which induce only mild symptoms at relatively large doses of peanut.
Individuals with severe peanut allergy may have mild symptoms to other allergens indicating that it is the sensitivity to peanut rather than a peculiarity of the individual's own immune system that leads to the severity of their condition.
<p>Certain foods, peanut being the most commonly described, are potent allergens and in some individuals produce severe reactions at very low doses, giving rise to persistent allergy.
However, not all of those individuals with peanut allergy suffer severe symptoms and in a few cases the allergy may resolve with age. This study therefore proposes to answer the question of whether all allergenic proteins of peanut have this potent symptom-provoking ability, or if this property is limited to a few proteins and molecular motifs.
<p>Find more about this project and other FSA food safety-related projects at the <a href="http://www.food.gov.uk/science/research/" target="_blank">Food Standards Agency Research webpage</a>.