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Immune mechanisms governing the natural resolution of peanut allergy

2022 AIFA Ann Kupa Food Allergy Research Grant 

A/Prof Rachel Peters and Dr Melanie Neeland, Murdoch Children's Research Institute (MCRI) Co-Chief Investigators

Other investigators: A/Prof Jennifer Koplin, Prof Mimi Tang, Prof Richard Saffery (MCRI)

AProf Rachel Peters Dr Melanie Neeland

Food allergy is a significant public health burden in Australia, with Melbourne reporting the highest prevalence of food allergy internationally, at 10% of 1-year-old infants and 4.5% of adolescents. There is currently no cure and management involves strict dietary avoidance and treatment of allergic reactions as needed. Fortunately, some children will naturally outgrow their food allergies, while others are left with lifelong disease. At present we do not know why some children will naturally outgrow their allergies while others do not.

This project will use previously collected blood samples from children in the longitudinal HealthNuts study. Over 5000 children were recruited at 12-months of age and tested for common food allergies. They returned for repeat food allergy testing at ages 4, 6 and 10 years to determine if their food allergy had persisted or if it had resolved.

This unique study will allow the team to deeply phenotype and compare immune profile and responses in children with persistent or resolved peanut allergy to improve our understanding of the factors that lead to the natural resolution of food allergy. They will focus on peanut allergy as it is the least likely to resolve and the most likely to lead to adverse health outcomes.

This information will help to predict the natural history in individual patients, screen for resolution of allergy, and could lead to the development of new treatment strategies.


AIFA Ann Kupa Food Allergy Research Grant of $40,000