Food allergy across Europe: Diagnostic, environmental and nutritional implications
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Department of Experimental Immunology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Amsterdam UMC, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Publication date: 2022-05-27
Public Health Toxicol 2022;2(Supplement Supplement 1):A6
The epidemiology of food allergy was studied during the first decade of this century in the EU-funded EuroPrevall project. Participating clinical centers were spread out over Europe in twelve countries. The studies included an outpatient clinic survey (>2200 patients), general population surveys amongst school children and amongst adults (cross-sectional), and a general population birth cohort study (longitudinal). Standardized questionnaires and case-record forms, double-blind placebo-controlled food challenges, SPT and ImmunoCAP analyses for 24 foods and 12 inhalants and latex, and component-resolved diagnostic tests for around 65 food allergens were used to map out differences in food allergy across Europe. The biggest impact on differences in the prevalence and spectrum of different food allergies came from differences in pollen exposure, in particular exposure to birch pollen. By far the highest prevalence was observed for foods associated with Bet v 1 cross-reactivity. Food allergies caused by primary sensitization to food were far less prevalent and seemed in line with differences in dietary habits. Molecular diagnosis provided clear insights into sources of sensitization and models based on combinations of molecular diagnosis, demographics and clinical history proved to be promising predictors of the risk of severe reactions to food. The EuroPrevall project has provided many leads to improve the management of food allergy across Europe.
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