Working Group 3

In Vivo Methods to Predict Sensitization

In vivo rodent models are frequently used to assess the sensitizing and eliciting properties of proteins and food products. However, no generic good validated in vivo model does exist. Furthermore, no experiments were performed where a broader panel of allergens, including high allergenic and low allergenic or even non-allergenic proteins, were tested simultaneously. This Action will therefore try to find answers to the following questions:

  1. 1.  How to extrapolate in vivo animal data to the human situation?
    2.  Which (combination of) species, is suitable to predict allergenicity and adjuvant capacity of proteins in humans.
    3.  What is the best species/strain or combination of multiple species/strains to predict the allergenicity of proteins?  What are the advantages and          disadvantages of the models?
    4.  What are the sensitizing routes for proteins and how do they differ in their effectiveness? Which in vivo model can be used to determine these?
    5.  Is it possible to harmonize protocols (e.g. dosing schemes, dosing route, diets) for in vivo models among different laboratories?
    6.  How to validate these models (e.g. ring trial)?
    7.  What is the role of microbiota?
    8.  In which form should allergens be tested (purified, in matrix, and/or processed in a diet)?


Scientific Work Plan, Methods and Means

The Working Group will identify the different in vivo models currently applied in food allergy risk assessment.  The applicability of the models will be discussed and consensus should be obtained on which model or combination of models is the best to assess the allergenicity as well as adjuvant properties of proteins.  Furthermore a harmonized protocol (incl. doses scheme, administration route, purity of the allergens etc.) will be drafted, which can be applied, and validated in different laboratories. The WG will also discuss and evaluate the potential routes of sensitization and elaborate on how the sensitizing route of a protein can be assessed. Next to this, the WG will study the literature dealing with the role of microbiota during the sensitizing phase of food allergy and emphasize on how this can be tested in an in vivo model.

Representatives is this group are gut/lung/skin physiologists, immunologists, biochemists, toxicologists, analytical scientists.

Working Group 3 Contacts



Swiss Institute of Allergy
and Asthma
Obere Strasse 22
CH-7270 Davos Platz




Technical University of Denmark National Food Institute
Toxicology and Risk Assessment
Morkhoj Bygade 19
2860 Soborg