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Table 2 Pros and Cons of different food allergy model design parameters

From: Current challenges facing the assessment of the allergenic capacity of food allergens in animal models

Design parameter Sub-parameter Pros Cons
Reference proteins Strong, weak and non-allergenic proteins Confirm reproducibility and predictability Requires additional groups of animals
Animal species Mice Small size, short breeding cycle, availability of many reagents Usually need adjuvants, low amount of sera can be obtained
Rats Small size, short breeding cycle, larger amount of sera can be obtained, no need for use of adjuvant Restricted availability of reagents, larger amount of protein/food required
Dogs Large organ size and increased amount of sera can be obtained, spontaneously develop allergies Restricted availability of reagents, Very large amount of protein/food required, large animals, prolonged duration of animal studies, expensive and ethical consideration
Route of sensitization Oral Relevant route of sensitization Often needs the use of adjuvant, require large amount of protein
i.p. No adjuvant, robust sensitization route, no need for large amount of proteins/food Non-physiological relevant route
Cutaneous Relevant route of sensitization Usually requires immunological danger signals
Dose–response relationship   Helps in creating threshold levels, helps in hazard identification Several groups of animals required for each protein
Protein preparation Whole foods Ability to study the sensitizing capacity of proteins in their natural matrix, Ability to study the allergenicity of true novel foods, Easy to prepare Difficult to identify the sensitising proteins
Purified proteins Ability to study the inherent sensitizing capacity of the individual protein Difficult to prepare, need large amounts of high quality purified protein, protein structure may change
Food Extracts Easy to prepare Difficult to identify the sensitizing protein, some proteins may be lost or the relative amounts may change, protein structure may change
Protein processing Raw protein/food Ability to study the inherent allergenicity May not reflect the end use of the protein
Processed protein/food Ability to study the sensitizing capacity of the consumed version which cannot be predicted otherwise May impact the allergenic properties
Adjuvant   Provides a danger signal Artificially modifies the immune response