Research highlights from 2023

Research highlights from 2023

  • 06 February 2024
  • Healthcare News
  • News
  • Research

2023 was a year of great progress in research, with new treatments, prevention strategies and improvements in diagnostic tests on the horizon. We look back at some of the highlights. 

Measuring water loss from the skin can predict anaphylaxis during food challenges

Measuring water loss through the skin can predict anaphylaxis before symptoms appear, according to research published in November. The research group hope that skin patches can be used to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis and the need for adrenaline during diagnosis, increasing patient comfort. Read more

A review of the evidence finds early introduction of egg and peanut seems promising and safe for preventing food allergy

A critical appraisal of systematic reviews (a type of study that looks at all the existing evidence) concluded that early introduction of egg and peanut seems promising and safe for preventing food allergies. More extensive research is needed for developing guidelines on the timing of complimentary feeding (introducing foods to compliment breast milk or infant formula) to prevent other allergies. Learn more

New study shows sublingual immunotherapy is effective in young children with peanut allergy

This three-year trial found a daily low dose of peanut protein under the tongue (known as sublingual immunotherapy) was safe, effective and had potential for long-lasting effects, preventing allergic reactions. It was most effective in young children, suggesting a window of opportunity for treatment while children are very young. Find out more

Cancer drug acalabrutinib shown to temporarily prevent allergic reactions to peanuts

This small study showed that a cancer drug called acalabrutinib improves tolerance to peanuts in the short term, making it the first drug to achieve rapid-onset prevention of IgE-induced allergic reactions. Read this study

Rising hospital admissions for allergies and anaphylaxis: A complex picture

The MHRA released figures from NHS digital showing hospital admissions for allergies and anaphylaxis in England nearly doubled in the last 20 years. Provisional data showed there were 25,721 hospital admissions in 2022-23, compared to 13,440 in 2001-02. Find out more

Innovations in the treatment of anaphylaxis: A review of recent data

This review explores innovative nasal and oral products under investigation for the outpatient emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Find out more

The ability of children and families with and without nut allergy to correctly identify nuts

Researchers assessed nut recognition in children with and without nut allergy and their parents or guardians. Parents and guardians recognised nuts more reliably than children, but mistakes were still common highlighting a need for better education for dietary confidence and nut avoidance. Read this study

Up to half of patients have an incorrect penicillin allergy in electronic medical records

The main aim of this study was to investigate the degree of match or mismatch between penicillin allergy labels in hospital and primary care electronic medical record (EMR) systems in patients who had had penicillin allergy investigation in a hospital allergy clinic. Up to half of patients were found to have an incorrect penicillin allergy label in the EMR. Read this letter

Find out more about penicillin allergy in our podcast ‘Understanding Penicillin Allergy’ with Dr Helen Evans-Howells and ‘Penicillin De-Labelling: What It Is and Why It Matters’ with Dr Shuaib Nasser.

Adrenaline auto‐injector prescription for patients at risk of anaphylaxis: BSACI guidance for primary care

For our Anaphylaxis Awareness Week 2023, we designed five posters focussing on key messages from the recent BSACI guidance on prescribing adrenaline auto-injectors, aiming to support busy health professionals in managing serious allergies in primary care – download the posters and share them with colleagues and display them in your place of work.

New data shows COVID vaccines rate of anaphylaxis same as other vaccines 

A review of the data showed similar rates of anaphylaxis to COVID vaccines as to other vaccines. Following the rollout of COVID vaccines at the start of 2021, initial reports emphasised a high risk of allergic reactions, however, the data has shown that this may have been caused by over-classifications and misinterpretations of anxiety. Read more