Chapter 7 : Animal Models for Food Allergy

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Animal models have been used to provide insight into the complex immunological and pathophysiological mechanisms of human type I allergic diseases. Therapeutic studies include allergen modifications, route of exposure, tolerance development with bacterial agents and/or herbal medicines, and cytokine skewing. Allergenic potential of novel proteins has received substantial interest in recent years, aimed at predicting allergenicity for genetically modified foods based upon known allergens, rare allergens, and nonallergens in different animal models. This chapter takes information from these sources and others to provide the reader with the author’s perspective on animal models and food allergy that could extrapolate to human type I allergic disease. An ideal food allergy animal model should include the following features. This chapter highlights the IgE-mediated gastrointestinal food hypersensitivity disorders (gastrointestinal anaphylaxis; oral allergy syndrome). The normal immune response in animals to dietary proteins is oral tolerance; however, abrogation of active immune suppression can result in adverse reactions, such as IgE-mediated food allergy. The chapter concludes that the most difficult task from one or more of these promising animal studies should be to extrapolate successfully to human disease.

Citation: Helm R. 2006. Animal Models for Food Allergy, p 171-185. In Maleki S, Burks A, Helm R (ed), Food Allergy. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555815721.ch7

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