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Recent advances in understanding and preventing peanut and tree nut hypersensitivity


Peanut allergy, the most persistent and deadly of the food allergies, has become more prevalent worldwide in recent decades. Numerous explanations have been offered for the rise in peanut allergy, which has been more pronounced in Western, industrialized nations. In infants who are at increased risk of peanut allergy, new evidence indicates that early introduction of peanuts can help prevent allergy development. This counterintuitive finding directly contradicts the previously established practice of peanut avoidance for high-risk infants but is supported by clinical and basic science evidence. Here, we review the literature contributing to our evolving understanding of nut allergy, emphasizing the translation of this work to clinical practice.

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