Allergy or tolerance in children sensitized to peanut: prevalence and differentiation using component-resolved diagnostics

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010 Jan;125(1):191-7.e1-13. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2009.10.008.


Background: Not all peanut-sensitized children develop allergic reactions on exposure.

Objective: To establish by oral food challenge the proportion of children with clinical peanut allergy among those considered peanut-sensitized by using skin prick tests and/or IgE measurement, and to investigate whether component-resolved diagnostics using microarray could differentiate peanut allergy from tolerance.

Methods: Within a population-based birth cohort, we ascertained peanut sensitization by skin tests and IgE measurement at age 8 years. Among sensitized children, we determined peanut allergy versus tolerance by oral food challenges. We used open challenge among children consuming peanuts (n = 45); others underwent double-blind placebo-controlled challenge (n = 34). We compared sensitization profiles between children with peanut allergy and peanut-tolerant children by using a microarray with 12 pure components (major peanut and potentially cross-reactive components, including grass allergens).

Results: Of 933 children, 110 (11.8%) were peanut-sensitized. Nineteen were not challenged (17 no consent). Twelve with a convincing history of reactions on exposure, IgE > or =15 kUa/L and/or skin test > or =8mm were considered allergic without challenge. Of the remaining 79 children who underwent challenge, 7 had > or =2 objective signs and were designated as having peanut allergy. We estimated the prevalence of clinical peanut allergy among sensitized subjects as 22.4% (95% CI, 14.8% to 32.3%). By using component-resolved diagnostics, we detected marked differences in the pattern of component recognition between children with peanut allergy (n = 29; group enriched with 12 children with allergy) and peanut-tolerant children (n = 52). The peanut component Ara h 2 was the most important predictor of clinical allergy.

Conclusion: The majority of children considered peanut-sensitized on the basis of standard tests do not have peanut allergy. Component-resolved diagnostics may facilitate the diagnosis of peanut allergy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arachis / adverse effects
  • Arachis / immunology*
  • Child
  • Cohort Studies
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune Tolerance*
  • Immunoglobulin E / blood*
  • Male
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / epidemiology*
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Prevalence
  • Skin Tests


  • Immunoglobulin E