Preventing Peanut Allergy: Where Are We Now?

Helen R. Fisher, Corinne A. Keet, Gideon Lack, George du Toit

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Peanut allergy affects 1% to 3% of the Western world, usually begins in early childhood, is rarely outgrown, and has no currently approved treatment. The identification and application of prevention strategies is therefore essential. In 2015, the Learning Early About Peanuts study findings found that early consumption of peanut protein was effective in preventing peanut allergy in high-risk children as compared with peanut avoidance. These findings resulted in changes to allergy prevention guidelines and policy across the world. There are country-specific variations to guidelines, but, within these variations, feeding peanut to children in infancy is a common theme. There are numerous logistical challenges surrounding the implementation of contemporary guidelines at a population level. In the United States, guidelines advise according to risk level with prescreening recommended for high-risk children (mod/severe eczema, egg allergy). Even though high-risk children represent the minority of the childhood population, there are still significant challenges associated with identifying and screening such infants. The need for conducting allergy testing before first giving peanut protein to high-risk infants is debated; although adopting this approach promotes safety, it is financially and logistically challenging. Clinical trials that explore the real-life application of these guidelines are needed as is an assessment of guidelines (Australia, for example) that do not adopt the approach of screening.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)367-373
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2019


  • Allergy prevention
  • Children
  • Food allergy
  • Peanut allergy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy


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