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Deriving individual threshold doses from clinical food challenge data for population risk assessment of food allergens

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Author: Westerhout, J. · Baumert, J.L. · Blom, W.M. · Allen, K.J. · Ballmer-Weber, B. · Crevel, R.W.R. · Dubois, A.E.J. · Fernández-Rivas, M. · Greenhawt, M.J. · Hourihane, J.O. · Koplin, J.J. · Kruizinga, A.G. · Le, T.M. · Sampson, H.A. · Shreffler, W.G. · Turner, P.J. · Taylor, S.L. · Houben, G.F. · Remington, B.C.
Source:Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 1290-1309
Identifier: 869375
doi: doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2019.07.046
Keywords: Decision-making process · Double-blind, placebo-controlled food challengeeliciting dose · Food allergy · Food challenge · No observed adverse effect level–lowest observed adverse effect level derivation · Risk assessment · Risk management · Threshold


Background: Food allergies are a significant public health issue, and the only effective management option currently available is strict avoidance of all foods containing the allergen. In view of the practical impossibility of limiting risks to zero, quantitative allergen risk assessment and management strategies are needed. Objective: We sought to develop appropriate methods for informing population-based risk assessments and risk management programs to benefit all stakeholders but particularly patients with food allergy. Methods: Individual thresholds for food allergens (maximum tolerable doses and minimum eliciting doses) can ideally be established through double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenges. If double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge data are not available, data from widely used open food challenges using predefined objective criteria can also provide useful data regarding minimum eliciting doses. For more than 20 years, the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have been collecting individual maximum tolerable doses and minimum eliciting doses that produce objective symptoms from published and unpublished clinical data to better refine knowledge regarding the sensitivity of the population to food allergens. Results: In this article we provide in-depth insights into the methodology applied by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research and Food Allergy Research and Resource Program to derive individual maximum tolerable doses and minimum eliciting doses for objective symptoms from clinical food challenge data. More than 90 examples for determining individual allergic thresholds are presented. Conclusion: With the methodology presented in this article, we aim to stimulate harmonization and transparency in quantitative food allergen risk assessment and risk management programs, encouraging their wider adoption. © 2019 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology