Our knowledge on food allergy and intolerance has expanded in the last years, except data of convincing epidemiological surveys still missing. These, although supposed so, cannot be replaced by the use of questionnaires. Answers reflect only that public belief overestimates the prevalence (though not the importance) of Food allergy, as compared to figures reached by conventional diagnostic methods. The structure of the most important food allergens is known by now, and many symptom-provoking cross-reactivities are also described. Though the variability of individual symptoms is depending on geographic, agricultural, nutritional characteristics of a given region, the frequency of the oral allergy syndrome is indisputably increasing. Under certain circumstances gut permeability also may play a decisive role. The isolation of food allergen-specific T-cell clones provided suitable tool for research on structure and immunoregulation. The investigation of biomarkers and mediators as ECP, TNF-alpha, histamine or leukotriens promotes diagnosis, although the golden standard is still the double-blind, placebo controlled food challenge. In prevention and therapy the progress of genetic engineering for the reduction of allergenicity of staple food, and for the reinduction of oral tolerance are very promising.
|Translated title of the contribution||Food hypersensitivity - Recent advances|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Lege Artis Medicinae|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 22 1998|
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