Oral Immunotherapy for Food Allergy

J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2017;27(3):151-159. doi: 10.18176/jiaci.0143. Epub 2017 Jan 19.


Food allergy is a potentially life-threatening condition with no approved therapies apart from avoidance and injectable epinephrine for treatment of acute allergic reactions. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is an experimental treatment in which patients consume gradually increasing quantities of the food to which they are allergic in an attempt to induce some level of desensitization. While desensitization is possible in most patients, OIT carries significant risks for allergic reactions, and the ability to induce longer-term tolerance has not yet been established. This review focuses on selected studies of OIT for the treatment of common food allergies such as cow's milk, hen's egg, and peanut.

Keywords: Cow’s milk; Desensitization; Food allergy; Hen’s egg; Immunoglobulin E (IgE); Omalizumab; Oral immunotherapy; Peanut; Skin prick test (SPT); Sustained unresponsiveness; Tolerance.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Allergic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods*
  • Egg Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Egg Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Food Hypersensitivity / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Milk Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Omalizumab / therapeutic use*
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Peanut Hypersensitivity / therapy
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy / methods


  • Anti-Allergic Agents
  • Omalizumab