Table of Contents
Journal of Allergy
Volume 2013, Article ID 635695, 10 pages
Review Article

Use of Animal Models to Investigate Major Allergens Associated with Food Allergy

1Biotechnology Research Laboratories, Department of Physiology, Monash University, Clayton, VIC 3800, Australia
2Department of Allergy, Immunology and Respiratory Medicine, Alfred Hospital and Monash University, Prahran, VIC 3181, Australia

Received 6 February 2013; Accepted 24 March 2013

Academic Editor: K. Blaser

Copyright © 2013 Jenna L. Van Gramberg et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Food allergy is an emerging epidemic that affects all age groups, with the highest prevalence rates being reported amongst Western countries such as the United States (US), United Kingdom (UK), and Australia. The development of animal models to test various food allergies has been beneficial in allowing more rapid and extensive investigations into the mechanisms involved in the allergic pathway, such as predicting possible triggers as well as the testing of novel treatments for food allergy. Traditionally, small animal models have been used to characterise immunological pathways, providing the foundation for the development of numerous allergy models. Larger animals also merit consideration as models for food allergy as they are thought to more closely reflect the human allergic state due to their physiology and outbred nature. This paper will discuss the use of animal models for the investigation of the major food allergens; cow's milk, hen's egg, and peanut/other tree nuts, highlight the distinguishing features of each of these models, and provide an overview of how the results from these trials have improved our understanding of these specific allergens and food allergy in general.