Peanut Allergen Persists for Several Hours in Saliva

Patients with peanut allergy urged to wait before kissing anyone who has ingested peanut

TUESDAY, March 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with peanut allergies may be at risk of a serious allergic reaction if they kiss anyone who has eaten peanut within the past four-plus hours, according to research presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Miami Beach.

Jennifer M. Maloney, M.D., of Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, and colleagues studied 10 volunteers who ate two tablespoons of peanut butter on a sandwich. Afterward, the researchers measured saliva levels of peanut allergen. They also measured saliva levels after volunteers either brushed their teeth, brushed and rinsed or rinsed alone.

The researchers found that allergen levels were undetectable in all subjects within 4.5 hours, whether or not they brushed or rinsed. They also found that brushing and rinsing did not immediately reduce detectable allergen levels.

"Peanut allergic patients, particularly adolescents, must be counseled regarding the risks of kissing someone who has recently eaten peanut, even if they brushed their teeth," the authors conclude. "Practical advice may include brushing teeth plus waiting a number of hours before kissing, but definitive recommendations must follow evaluation of cleaning routines that are under way in a larger population."


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