Tolerance induction through early feeding to prevent food allergy in infants and children with sensitization against food allergens (TIFFANI): rationale, study design, and methods of a randomized controlled trial


  • B. Kalb
  • L. Meixner
  • S. Heller
  • S. Dölle-Bierke
  • S. Roll
  • T. Tissen-Diabaté
  • S. Lau
  • S. Forslund
  • I. Marenholz
  • Y.A. Lee
  • A. Thiel
  • M. Babina
  • J. Scheffel
  • M. Worm
  • K. Beyer


  • Trials


  • Trials 25: 272


  • BACKGROUND: Children with sensitization against foods have to be orally food-challenged before eating these foods for the first time. However, the waiting time for an oral food challenge (OFC) in Germany is about 3–6 months. In contrast, there are hints that an early introduction of allergenic foods might be protective regarding the development of food allergy. The aim of this clinical trial is therefore to investigate, whether an introduction and regular consumption of small amounts of food allergens is safe and will result in an increase of tolerance in children with sensitization against food allergens with unknown clinical relevance. METHODS: In this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, single-center trial, 138 children (8 months to 4 years of age) sensitized to the target allergen(s) hen’s egg, cow’s milk, peanuts, and/or hazelnuts with unknown clinical relevance will be randomized in a 1:1 ratio to either an active or a placebo group, daily receiving a rusk-like biscuit powder with or without the target allergen(s) for 3–6 months until an OFC will be performed in routine diagnostics. The primary endpoint is an IgE-mediated food allergy to the primary target allergen, after the interventional period. DISCUSSION: Children with sensitization against food allergens with unknown clinical relevance often have to avoid the corresponding foods for several months until an OFC is performed. Therefore, the “window of opportunity” for an early preventive introduction of allergenic foods might be missed. This trial will assess whether an introduction of small allergen amounts will favor tolerance development in these children.