GMO foods and food allergy; skin testing in inpatient penicillin allergy evaluation

September 5, 2017

The September issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, (online later this week) has a wide diversity of features with something for almost all readers’ interests.  Two articles in particular deserve special mention.

The monthly CME review article by Eliza Dunn, MD, et. al is an excellent overview of the issues related to understanding possible relationships to explain the increasing incidence and prevalence of food allergy in western society as the development of genetically modified (GMO) foods progresses. This review article methodically describes the methodology of producing GMO foods, and the assessment of allergenicity with state of the art methodology. The article continues with a systematic review of the evidence for and against meaningful relationships between GMO foods and allergy. This is a must read for those clinicians who have patients expressing concerns about GMO foods and their risk for developing food allergy. 

Another valuable article by Bob Geng, MD and colleagues examined the question of whether minor determinants for skin testing in inpatient penicillin allergy evaluation would identify penicillin allergic patients who failed to respond to major determinants alone. In this study of over 500 patients, 20 percent were skin test battery positive. Of that number, over a third were positive to minor determinants only. This paper makes the case for a more comprehensive penicillin skin test battery and should be read and understood by all providers who do penicillin skin testing.

There are many more features in the September issue, and I trust you will find many of them to be both interesting and useful to you in your practice. As always, I welcome your feedback as we seek to make each new Annals issue better than the last.

Gailen D. Marshall, Jr., MD, PhD, FACAAI