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ACAAI: Challenge Testing May Reduce Egg Allergy

Second study suggests only 30 percent of Mississippi schools have food-allergy action plans

TUESDAY, Nov. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Desensitization is possible in patients with severe egg allergy. In addition, most Mississippi schools do not have a food allergy action plan for all of their food-allergic students, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, held from Nov. 5 to 10 in Miami Beach, Fla.

In one study, Kazuyo Kuzume, M.D., of Ehime University in Japan, and colleagues performed open challenge testing in 29 egg-allergic patients, starting with small amounts of egg yolk. After 10 months, they found that 25 (86 percent) patients were able to eat one-fourth of a cooked whole egg and observed a significant decrease in egg-white specific immunoglobulin E levels.

In a second study, John M. Pulcini, M.D., of the University of Mississippi in Jackson, and colleagues surveyed 96 school nurses in Mississippi. Ninety-seven percent of respondents reported having at least one food-allergic student at their school. However, only 30 percent of respondents reported that all of their food-allergic students were on a food allergy action plan, and another 29 percent reported that 10 percent or less of food-allergic students were on a food allergy action plan.

"The students were more likely to have food allergy action plans if the school nurse received information on food allergies from parents or a physician, or if the student attended a school in an urban area," Pulcini and colleagues write.

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