Primary prevention and secondary prevention in the context of food allergy refer to prevention of the development of sensitization (i.e., the presence of food-specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) as measured by skin-prick testing and/or laboratory testing) and sensitization plus the clinical manifestations of food allergy, respectively. Until recently, interventions that target the prevention of food allergy have been limited. Although exclusive breast-feeding for the first 6 months of life has been a long-standing recommendation due to associated health benefits, recommendations regarding complementary feeding in infancy have significantly changed over the past 20 years. There now is evidence to support early introduction of peanut into the diet of infants with egg allergy, severe atopic dermatitis, or both diagnoses, defined as high risk for peanut allergy, to try to prevent development of peanut allergy. Although guideline-based recommendations are not available for early introduction of additional allergenic foods, this topic is being actively studied. There is no evidence to support additional dietary modification of the maternal or infant diet for the prevention of food allergy. Similarly, there is no conclusive evidence to support maternal avoidance diets for the prevention of food allergy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine