Greetings from the Center for Food Allergy at the Shamir Medical Center (formerly Assaf Harofeh)! We are proud to update you regarding some of the highlights of 2019.
- As of December, over 250 patients are in active oral immunotherapy treatment (OIT) programs at our center. The majority of our current patients are enrolled in OIT for milk (95 patients) and treenut (82) allergies, with others receiving treatment for peanut (49), sesame (23) and egg (5) allergies. Treatment success remains high with almost 90% of our patients achieving at least partial allergic desensitization
. -Seven articles were published in 2019 by members of our staff on various aspects of food allergy. Research topics included the specific allergens associated with different manifestations of treenut allergy, the safety and efficacy of walnut and sesame OIT programs at our center, and quality of life assessments for patients with food allergy before and after treatment.
-We continue in our efforts to devise effective methods for diagnosing food allergy, and are currently preparing a manuscript demonstrating the combined use of different blood tests to greatly curb the need for oral food challenges in diagnosing sesame allergy.
- In our collaborative project with researchers at Azrieli Medical Faculty at Bar Ilan University, we have demonstrated associations of particular gut-resident bacterial populations with persistent food allergy (that does not spontaneously resolve), along with possible mechanistic roles that microbes might play in promoting or preventing allergy.
The efforts at the Center for Food Allergy reflect our aims to join cutting-edge research with real-world impact that improves the life of allergic patients and their families. We thank you for your continued support, and invite you to follow our progress in 2020. With our best wishes for a happy Festival of Lights, or as we say in Israel, "Hag Urim Sameah!"