Preventing peanut allergy through improved understanding of the transcutaneous sensitisation route, novel food processing and skin care adaptations

Project description

TRANS-FOODS Public Abstract:

Allergic diseases, including atopic dermatitis (AD, also called ‘atopic eczema’) and food allergies (FA), affect over a quarter of all children across Europe. The immune responses to oral food allergens are well-established, and controlled oral allergen exposure methods in early life have been developed that can prevent FA. However, it is not easy to comply with the repeated oral allergen exposure required to induce tolerance, and additional approaches are therefore needed.

There is mounting evidence that early life cutaneous exposure to foods causes sensitisation, especially in the presence of dry skin and AD. Despite this, very little is known about how the cutaneous sensitisation to FA occurs.

This project aims to reduce the risk of peanut allergy development through the transcutaneous route by 1) understanding the mechanisms through which this occurs, and 2) designing and testing novel prevention approaches, such as modification in the peanut manufacturing processes and the adaptation of skin care practices.

These ambitious, but achievable aims, are addressed in integrated work packages (WP), taken forward by leaders in their respective fields, from the UK, Germany, and France. WP1 addresses the effects of food processing upon the solubility of peanut protein and its components in oil and how this relates to the cutaneous exposure to peanut protein. WP2 examines the effect of peanut protein skin contamination and skin appendage trapping. WP3 studies the immune system activation induced by massage and cutaneous peanut exposure. WP4 uses an intervention study approach with skin massage to study the immune responses to peanut allergen in those with a skin barrier defect. WP5 examines the cutaneous immune responses to peanut allergen in those suffering of peanut allergy, and WP6 translates our findings through working with an industrial peanut processing partner, patients and consumers.

Impact of expected results: We will work with the food industry, Allergy UK, the Natasha Allergy Research Foundation, as well as national and international food standards agencies, to ensure stakeholder awareness and that the findings of our work are translated into improved public health measures.


Partner Organization Partner Country
Institut Curie France
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin Germany
University of Bonn Germany


Project number:
Duration: 58%
Duration: 58 %
Related subsidy round:
Project lead and secretary:
Professor Carsten Flohr
Responsible organisation:
King's College London, UK