Welcome to the LEAP Study
Given its severe nature and the absence of a cure, prevention remains our best hope to reduce peanut allergy in children. But how exactly can peanut allergy be prevented? Does eating peanuts during infancy make the immune system tolerant or sensitive to peanuts consumed later on? Does one approach work better than the other in preventing peanut allergy in children? These are the important questions the LEAP Study seeks to answer.
LEAP (Learning Early About Peanut allergy) is a randomized controlled clinical trial designed and conducted by the Immune Tolerant Network (ITN) to determine the best strategy to prevent peanut allergy in young children. 640 children between 4 and 11 months of age who were identified as high risk for peanut allergy, based on an existing egg allergy and/or severe eczema, were enrolled in the study.
The children were randomly assigned to two groups – avoidance or consumption:
|Study Group||Instructions until the age of 5|
|Consumption||Consume a peanut containing snack with three or more meals (equivalent to 6 grams of peanut protein each week)|
|Avoidance||Do not ingest peanut-containing foods|
The proportion of each group that develops peanut allergy by 5 years of age will be used to determine which approach - avoidance or consumption - works best for preventing peanut allergy.
All participants received allergy testing, dietary counselling, physical examinations and were asked to provide occasional blood samples for use in examining differences in immune system development in each of the study groups.