Immunotherapy for peanut allergy

Hong Kong Med J. 2014 Aug;20(4):325-30. doi: 10.12809/hkmj144243. Epub 2014 Jun 20.


Peanut allergy is one of the commonest food hypersensitivities causing fatal or near-fatal reactions. There is, currently, no preventive treatment and the incidence of severe allergic reactions during peanut desensitisation has limited its clinical use. Anti-immunoglobulin E therapy has been shown to be effective in preventing peanut-induced reactions but it does not result in long-term tolerance. Two important advances have recently been reported. One involves gradual oral introduction of peanut protein to desensitise, whereas the other approach uses a combination of anti-immunoglobulin E and oral peanut immunotherapy. Both approaches could offer a way to desensitise with a far greater margin of safety than has, hitherto, been reported. This article provides an overview of the literature on peanut immunotherapy and describes the experience in a small group of children in Hong Kong who were treated successfully using anti-immunoglobulin E combined with oral peanut desensitisation.

Keywords: Desensitization, immunologic; Immunoglobulin E; Peanut hypersensitivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Arachis / immunology
  • Child
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Female
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / therapy*


  • Immunoglobulin E