New Research from American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Meeting


FAACT President and CEO, Eleanor Garrow-Holding, and Vice President of Programs, Linda Menighan, attended the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI) Virtual Annual Meeting from February 23-27, 2023, in San Antonio, Texas, as well as meeting with many of FAACT’s corporate partners, medical advisors, and colleagues.

Here are a few highlights of research discussed at the meeting: 

Black Children with Atopic Dermatitis Less Likely To Be Evaluated by Allergist than White Peers: Despite research showing that black children are more likely to develop asthma, researchers found that black children diagnosed with atopic dermatitis (eczema) were less likely to be evaluated by an allergist than white children.

IgE Profiles May Help Predict Which Peanut-allergic Children May Benefit Most from Oral Immunotherapy: A new molecular diagnostic test can quantify antibodies that bind to specific regions of peanut proteins, which can help distinguish different types of peanut allergy—and determine who might benefit from oral immunotherapy.

Individuals Allergic to Sesame Could be Desensitized Using Emerging Oral Treatment: New research shows that oral desensitization to sesame can be safe and effective when using crushed sesame seeds and tahini (a sesame paste). Oral desensitization is an emerging treatment for food allergies, but not much research has been done using in the U.S. this method for sesame.

Pediatric Asthma Risk Score Can Help Predict Asthma Development in Children: Researchers confirmed the effectiveness of the Pediatric Asthma Risk Score (PARS) after validating its use with a diverse group of people in terms of in terms of race, ethnicity, sex, and birth decade. This could lead to “PARS ultimately becoming a new quantitative gold standard in pediatric asthma risk prediction.”

Unnecessary Food Allergy Panel Testing Can Create Burden for Patients: New research shows food allergy testing continues to be overused for patients exhibiting chronic, nonspecific symptoms. This leads to anxiety and patients eliminating foods from their diets that they can actually consume safely.

Quick Takes:

  • OIT for Multiple Food Allergies: Food oral immunotherapy (OIT) in children with multiple food allergies can be difficult. Treating for each food separately takes longer; treating for them in groups leads to more reactions, including anaphylaxis. Doctors are using biologics to decrease the reaction rate with multiple food OIT.
  • Understanding Food Allergies in Adults: Researchers found that food allergies are not well defined or understood in adults, particularly when treated by general practitioners.
  • Gut Check on Peanut Allergy: New data identifies functional and metabolic features of the gut microbiome that relate to peanut oral immunotherapy success.
  • Alpha-gal Syndrome Goes Beyond Meat: Alpha-gal syndrome may be a food allergy, but reactions can involve more than just food. Products from cows and pigs make their way into vaccines, gelatin, and surgical tools. Patients can even experience reactions by inhaling fumes from meat that is being cooked.
  • Food Elimination Not Recommended for Eczema: For most atopic dermatitis (eczema) patients, there is more chance of harm in elimination diets that benefits. There is only a 9% chance of improvement in eczema symptoms through elimination diets, but they can predispose children to developing food allergies, increase risk of picky eating, and lead to nutrient deficiency and growth faltering.
  • Stressed About COVID Vaccines: Research from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases found that some reports of allergic reactions to COVID-19 vaccines were more likely a non-allergic condition called immunization stress-related response.
  • Fear of Flying: Researchers found that 98% of airline passengers managing food allergies reported some level of anxiety over air travel, and that too many passengers do not disclose their food allergies due to fear of repercussions (bullying) from flight crews or other passengers.
  • Asthma Tests Matter: Asthma is often over-diagnosed, misdiagnosed, and underdiagnosed, all of which are harmful. Diagnostic testing is critical rather than relying on clinical history.
  • New Routes for Epinephrine: Several companies are working on needle-free ways to deliver epinephrine, including nasal sprays and a sublingual film.
  • Chia Cross-Reactions: Six out of seven patients with chia seed allergy also had cross-reactivity to sesame seeds.
  • Continued Promise in Peanut Therapy: Sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for peanut allergy continues to show promise in desensitizing children with peanut allergy.
  • High Cholesterol Linked With Asthma: In a study of children younger than 15 years with either high total cholesterol or normal total cholesterol, results showed a link between high levels of total cholesterol and future asthma development.

Next year’s AAAAI will be held February 22-26, 2024, in Washington, DC. Visit AAAAI to learn more.