Younger siblings of peanut consumers fared better when peanut was introduced early

In a recent study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, researchers tested the hypothesis that peanut allergy develops as a result of cutaneous exposure in the absence of oral consumption. Evaluation of the younger siblings of participants in the Learning Early About Peanut (LEAP) study provided an opportunity to understand the impact of environmental peanut exposure during infancy and early childhood on the development of peanut sensitization and allergy.

The study was a prospective randomized trial of high environmental versus low environmental peanut exposure. Researchers evaluated the allergic status of younger siblings who resided in the home of LEAP participants at any time during the LEAP intervention. The study included a total of 144 younger siblings of peanut avoiders and 154 younger siblings of peanut consumers.

Among younger siblings of peanut consumers, those who started eating peanut in the first year of life had a significantly lower rate of sensitization than those who did not introduce peanut in the first year of life. The researchers concluded that the trend towards increased sensitization and allergy in younger siblings of peanut consumers was greatly reduced if the sibling introduced peanut early.

Lack, G., Du Toit, G., Radulovic, S., Feeney, M., Fischer, H., Byron, M., … & Huffaker, M. (2024). An Unintentional Randomized Trial of Early Environmental Exposure to Peanut: The Younger Siblings of LEAP Participants. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 153(2), AB367.

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