Allergies alimentaires sévères: désensibilisation et rétablissement de la tolérance orale


Philippe Bégin

Centre de recherche du CHU Ste-Justine


Domaine : Maladies infectieuses et immunitaires

Programme chercheurs-boursiers cliniciens - Junior 1

Concours 2016-2017


AllerGen NCE

The prevalence of food allergy has tripled over the last decade reaching up to 8% in children.  In addition to the very-real risk of anaphylaxis and death, it is associated with a very high and often underestimated psychological and social burden for children and families that suffer from it. There is no cure available for food allergy, current management consisting of avoiding the food and carrying an emergency adrenalin auto-injector in case of accidental exposure.  While some food allergies will resolve spontaneously, others such as peanut and nuts will persist into adulthood in over 75% of cases.  The immunological mechanisms which differentiate those that do and those that do not outgrow their food allergy is largely unknown.

Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a new experimental therapeutic approach for food allergy that consists in the regular, progressive administration of food allergens by the mouth to induce a state of desensitization. The goal is to offer protection from accidental exposures and eventually allow ad lib introduction of the food in the subject's diet.

Our research group focuses on researching ways to improve oral immunotherapy for food allergy to make it more efficient at inducing desensitization and eventually permanent tolerance to the food, by personalizing the treatment regimen to the patient, by exploring new treatment routes or by combining it with other anti-allergy medication to improve safety and outcome. In addition, we conduct translational research to understand the different immunological mechanisms which underline the development of oral tolerance in subjects undergoing oral immunotherapy or spontaneously outgrowing their allergy, as well as focus on identifying potential eventual barriers to clinical implementation to maximize rapid transfer of this currently experimental but promising approach to the clinic.