Peanut allergy is the leading cause of deaths due to food-induced anaphylaxis but despite continued research, there are currently no specific treatments available. Challenge testing is limited in patients due to the high risk of adverse reactions, emphasising the need for an appropriate animal model. In the present study we examine the induction of allergic responses in a sheep model for peanut allergy. Sheep were sensitised with peanut (PN) extract and in separate injections with ovalbumin (OVA) or house dust mite (HDM) extract. Serum PN-specific IgE responses were detected in 40-50% of immunised sheep, while only 10% (1 of 10 sheep) showed detectable OVA-specific IgE. All PN-allergic sheep tested showed an Ara h 1-specific IgE response, while four out of five allergic sheep showed an Ara h 2-specific IgE response. Animals with high serum IgE levels to HDM were also PN IgE-positive. Of the PN-sensitised animals with high PN-specific IgE, 80% also showed an immediate hypersensitivity reaction following an intradermal PN injection. This new large animal model of peanut allergy may provide a useful tool for future investigations of allergen-associated immune mechanisms and specific immunotherapy.
Van Gramberg, J. L., de Veer, M. J., O’Hehir, R. E., Meeusen, E. N. T., Bischof, R. J., & Idzko, M. (2012). Induction of Allergic Responses to Peanut Allergen in Sheep. PLoS ONE, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0051386