Peanut immunotherapy trial results: desensitisation in peanut allergic children

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A trial of oral immunotherapy in children and adolescents highly allergic to peanut, treated with AR101 resulted in higher doses of peanut protein that could be ingested without dose-limiting symptoms according to research published yesterday.

To see the RTE news clip featuring an Irish participant and commentary from Professor Hourihane, Paediatric Allergist at Cork University Hospital and Principal Investigator at the INFANT Centre at University College Cork, who led the Irish leg of the trial click on the Twitter link below or here

This is very positive news for children and families affected by peanut allergy and has generated huge interest in the prospect of a “cure” for peanut allergy.

Prof. Hourihane is very keen to clarify that this study is not about curing peanut allergy and wishes to advise that only children, not adults, can be recruited.  At present there are no studies open.  If/when there are, only children that have been fully evaluated in the existing paediatric clinical services at Cork University Hospital are eligible to be considered for inclusion and that the only route to accessing existing clinical services at Cork University Hospital is through routine referral via GP’s.




Advisory notice: Emerade Adrenaline Autoinjector devices.

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The Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) wishes to inform users and healthcare professionals of the following potential quality defect for the Emerade range of treatments

  • There is a possibility that a small percentage (0.015%) of Emerade pens on the Irish market may not deliver a dose of adrenaline.
  • This is due to the potential for a blocked syringe needle to be in place.
  • A blocked needle has been identified by the manufacturer in one Emerade syringe during standard product stability testing.
  • While no confirmed reports of a blocked needle have been received from the marketplace for Emerade to date, there is the potential for units on the market to have a blocked needle, and this could lead to an Emerade auto-injector not firing.
  • The risk presented by this defect can be reduced by the patient always carrying two pens as described in the approved patient information for Emerade.

Please see the HPRA website for further details.

NEW! Living with Food Allergy in plain English for parents and carers, available free and online.

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IFAN is delighted to publish a 24 page practical, user friendly, plain English guide for parents and carers: Living with Food Allergy. Written with extensive parental input,you’ll find information about the different types of food allergy. It also tells you what to expect when a child is diagnosed with a food allergy, how to explain to children and others about food allergy, how to cope with food shopping, childcare, school, after-school activities and travel.  The content has been reviewed and approved by NALA.

There has been a substantial cost involved in the design and print of this guide which would not have been possible without unrestricted educational support received from IFAN’s sponsors. We appreciate your consideration of the costs incurred by downloading, printing and disseminating this guide responsibly.

IFAN’s “Egg ladder” has been updated

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IFAN has been using the “egg ladder” for over 7 years to help promote tolerance in certain individuals.  It has recently been revisited and updated in accordance with feedback received and the latest evidence base. There are no major content changes but there are changes to the following:

  • 3 main steps to the ladder have been defined
  • the ladder “rungs” within each step have become more defined
  • clear guidance is given for those who cannot or will not consume any of the foods listed.

You can see the revised ladder here

Exploitation of allergy in “Peter Rabbit” movie.

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IFAN welcomes Sony Pictures apology for their insensitive disregard for severe allergic reactions. A scene in the film depicts a human character named Tom McGregor with an allergy to blackberries. In a quest to gain access to his garden, rabbits pelt him with fruits and vegetables before using a slingshot to send a blackberry flying into his mouth. It works. Mr. McGregor struggles to inject himself with adrenaline and then has anaphylaxis and collapses-the rabbits cheer.

A section from the apology reads “Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of Peter Rabbit’s archnemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way……We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize”.

If you or your child has been excluded, stigmatised or bullied on the basis of allergy please share your experience with us at

IFAN is trying to advocate on behalf of all those affected by food allergy in Ireland. Our aim is to promote inclusion and a balanced factual understanding about different types of food allergy.

No evidence for food intolerance tests patients and pharmacists are advised.

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IFAN welcomes the HPRA review of the types of food intolerance tests available in Ireland and their advice of Jan 29, 2018 to the public not to rely on them. The pharmacy regulator,the PSI,in response has advised superintendent pharmacists and pharmacy owners that offering food intolerance testing in pharmacies,to diagnose food intolerance,is not appropriate and that any testing service in a pharmacy should only be provided in line with PSI guidance on providing testing services in pharmacies. These are very welcome developments which favour patient centred evidence based best practice.
View the HPRA notice here HPRA Jan 2018

View the PSI regulatory notice here 

Excluded because of allergy?

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Ever excluded from school, sports or leisure activities because of food allergy? Ever get special treatment because of food allergy? IFAN are trying to advocate on behalf of all those affected by food allergy in Ireland. Our aim is to promote inclusion and a balanced factual understanding about different types of food allergy. We need to hear from all those with positive and/or negative experiences about how they or their child’s life has been affected.

email in confidence

Allergy & Eczema

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We at IFAN were delighted to collaborate with the Irish Skin Foundation to produce a practical factual information leaflet for parents and patients addressing 20 common issues and correcting misinformation and myths about allergy and eczema.  We hope you’ll find it useful and encourage you to print it for patient and staff use.

You can download a free copy here


Travel Bursary

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A limited number of travel grants are now being offered by IFAN to members presenting original work, relevant to the field of Food Allergy at an International meeting in 2017

To be eligible for a grant, the applicant must be:

  • The first author of an abstract (in the field of food allergy) accepted to an international meeting.
  • A member of IFAN.

How to apply?

Applicants should provide the following information by email only:

  • Applicant covering letter
    •1 page CV
    •A copy of the accepted abstract
    •A supporting letter from your head of department

Please submit your application by email only to:


Those who are awarded a travel grant will receive travel and subsistence costs refunded up to 500EUR on submission of original receipts. Reimbursement will be made as soon as possible within two months after the meeting.

Please note that a travel grant does not include the registration fee or accommodation costs.