Updates in food allergen immunotherapy

Curr Opin Pediatr. 2023 Dec 1;35(6):680-685. doi: 10.1097/MOP.0000000000001272. Epub 2023 Jul 7.


Purpose of review: Food allergies are on the rise. Though allergen avoidance and management of acute reactions have been the backbone of therapy, complete avoidance and timely acute care is often not feasible. Food allergen immunotherapy (FAIT) is a novel and evolving treatment option intended to induce desensitization and potential sustained unresponsiveness (SU) to food allergens. This review addresses the methods, mechanisms, efficacy, and adverse effects of oral immunotherapy (OIT), sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT), and epicutaneous immunotherapy (EPIT) for food allergens in the published literature.

Recent findings: Single FAIT has been most extensively studied in peanut, milk, and hen's egg allergic patients and has been successful in achieving desensitization in treated individuals through various modalities. Long-term data regarding SU is limited; however, current data suggests subsets of patients may be more likely to achieve SU compared to others. Other studies are actively assessing multifood AIT and novel FAIT protocols with adjunctive therapies.

Summary: Food allergy constitutes a prevalent problem with far-reaching consequences. The emergence of FAIT may mitigate the burden of food allergy. Current evidence is promising for specific allergens and pediatric patient populations. Future studies are needed to further assess efficacy between different modalities of immunotherapy for food allergens across an age continuum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Allergens
  • Animals
  • Chickens
  • Child
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / adverse effects
  • Desensitization, Immunologic / methods
  • Female
  • Food Hypersensitivity* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Sublingual Immunotherapy* / methods


  • Allergens