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The gut as target organ for oral immunovaccination with allergen DNA: new hope for patients with anaphylactic reactions to food?
  1. Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Medical School of Hannover, D-30623 Hannover, Germany

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The management of patients with food allergy is unsatisfactory as the mechanisms underlying these reactions are not well understood and the diagnostic means to confirm food allergy on an objective basis are limited. Consequently, the clinical relevance of food allergy in the pathogenesis of gastrointestinal diseases is largely unclear.1 ,2 However, epidemiological studies suggest that food allergy is common, particularly in children, and often causes fatal reactions.3 ,4 The treatment options are often not successful as avoiding relevant food allergens may be extremely difficult, even if they could be clearly identified, and standard immunotherapy lacks efficacy. Because of the reported severe or even fatal reactions, which seem to be mostly IgE mediated, effective prophylactic and therapeutic strategies are urgently needed.5 ,6

Roy et al report a new approach to the modulation of anaphylactic responses to food allergens using a murine model of peanut allergy. Susceptible strains of mice were treated orally with nanoparticles containing DNA coding for a major …

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