Bindslev-Jensen, C., D. Briggs, M. Osterballe, 2002. Can we determine a threshold level for allergenic foods by statistical analysis of published data in the literature? Allergy. 57: 741–746.
Background: The aim of this paper was to investigate whether a statistical model could be developed to estimate a ‘‘threshold’’ dose for foods eliciting allergic reactions in susceptible patients. The threshold dose is defined to be one that elicits allergic reactions in a given (small) proportion of susceptible patients, using data from published studies. Methods: Based on data available from the literature, we developed a statistical model using the actual allergen content in the four foods, where data for allergen content are available (peanut, soy, egg, milk). Results: The model demonstrated that the threshold doses giving a reaction of one in a million in susceptible patients were within the same order of magnitude for egg, milk and soy, but were an order of magnitude lower for peanut flour: 0.005 mg of cow’s milk, 0.002 mg of fresh hen’s egg, 0.0007 mg of peanut, or 0.0013 mg of soy flour. Conclusions: Although several assumptions were made in creating this statistical model, we demonstrated that the previously published differences in threshold doses for various foods can be largely eliminated by comparing actual allergen content; this may therefore serve as a model for further studies.