Food allergy encompasses a variety of immune-mediated adverse reactions to foods. IgE-mediated, cell-mediated, and mixed-mechanism food allergy disorders are recognized. Over the past 2 decades, the prevalence of food allergy doubled and its phenotypic expression increased in Westernized societies. Major food allergens have been identified for many common foods. Laboratory diagnosis of food allergy relies heavily on the detection of food-specific IgE antibodies, but novel approaches include tests for T-cell-mediated disorders and tests for prediction of tolerance. OFC remains the diagnostic standard for food allergy. Management of food allergy focuses on avoidance of the offending foods, nutritional support, and prompt recognition and treatment of acute food allergic reactions. Anti-IgE monoclonal antibody is the first potential therapy for food allergy that is under-going testing in clinical trials.
Division of Allergy and Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY 10029, USA.