A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study of sublingual versus oral immunotherapy for the treatment of peanut allergy

Satya D. Narisety, Pamela A. Frischmeyer-Guerrerio, Corinne A. Keet, Mark Gorelik, John Schroeder, Robert G. Hamilton, Robert A. Wood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background Although promising results have emerged regarding oral immunotherapy (OIT) and sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) for the treatment of peanut allergy (PA), direct comparisons of these approaches are limited. Objective This study was conducted to compare the safety, efficacy, and mechanistic correlates of peanut OIT and SLIT. Methods In this double-blind study children with PA were randomized to receive active SLIT/placebo OIT or active OIT/placebo SLIT. Doses were escalated to 3.7 mg/d (SLIT) or 2000 mg/d (OIT), and subjects were rechallenged after 6 and 12 months of maintenance. After unblinding, therapy was modified per protocol to offer an additional 6 months of therapy. Subjects who passed challenges at 12 or 18 months were taken off treatment for 4 weeks and rechallenged. Results Twenty-one subjects aged 7 to 13 years were randomized. Five discontinued therapy during the blinded phase. Of the remaining 16, all had a greater than 10-fold increase in challenge threshold after 12 months. The increased threshold was significantly greater in the active OIT group (141- vs 22-fold, P =.01). Significant within-group changes in skin test results and peanut-specific IgE and IgG4 levels were found, with overall greater effects with OIT. Adverse reactions were generally mild but more common with OIT (P <.001), including moderate reactions and doses requiring medication. Four subjects had sustained unresponsiveness at study completion. Conclusion OIT appeared far more effective than SLIT for the treatment of PA but was also associated with significantly more adverse reactions and early study withdrawal. Sustained unresponsiveness after 4 weeks of avoidance was seen in only a small minority of subjects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1275-1282.e6
JournalJournal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2015



  • Peanut allergy
  • food allergy
  • immunotherapy
  • oral immunotherapy
  • sublingual immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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