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1.  Serious Shortcomings in the Management of Children with Anaphylaxis in Scottish Schools 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(8):e326.
The United Kingdom incidence of anaphylaxis has increased very sharply over the last decade, with the highest rates of hospital admissions occurring in school-aged children. This raises concerns about the extent to which schools are aware of approaches to the prevention and treatment of anaphylaxis.
Methods and Findings
We undertook a national postal survey of 250 Scottish schools enquiring about approaches to managing children considered to be at risk of anaphylaxis. We obtained responses from 148 (60%) schools, 90 (61%) of which reported having at least one at risk child. Most (80%) schools with children considered to be at risk reported having personalised care plans and invariably reported having at least one member of staff trained in the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis. Access to adrenaline was available on-site in 97% of these schools. However, significantly fewer schools without children considered to be at risk reported having a trained member of staff (48%, p < 0.001), with access to adrenaline being very poor (12%, p < 0.001). Overall, 59% of respondents did not feel confident in their school's ability to respond in an emergency situation.
Most schools with children considered to be at risk of anaphylaxis report using personal care plans and having a member of staff trained in the use of, and with access to, adrenaline. The picture is, however, less encouraging in schools without known at risk children, both in relation to staff training and access to adrenaline. The majority of schools with at risk children have poorly developed strategies for preventing food-triggered anaphylaxis reactions. There is a need for detailed national guidelines for all schools, which the Scottish Executive must now ensure are developed and implemented.
Schools whose officials know that some of their pupils have serious allergies are often prepared to deal with emergencies, but many don't have good plans for exposure prevention. When there is no knowledge of specific pupils at risk, neither preparedness nor prevention efforts are widespread.
Editors' Summary
Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can cause a drop in blood pressure and swelling of the body tissues (swelling of the neck and throat and narrowing of the airways can make it hard to breathe). The reaction can be triggered by foods, such as peanuts or eggs, or by bee stings, natural latex (rubber), and certain drugs such as penicillin. Foods are the most common trigger in children. In the United Kingdom, thousands of people develop anaphylaxis each year, and the number appears to be increasing. If anaphylaxis is severe, a patient will need to be hospitalized, and the highest risk of hospitalization is in school-aged children. About 20 people die each year in the United Kingdom from anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis can develop both in people known to have a tendency (risk) of getting the condition and in those with no known risk.
Why Was This Study Done?
The researchers wanted to find out how many school children there were in Scotland with a known risk of developing anaphylaxis. They also wanted to know how many schools were taking steps to minimize these children's risk of getting anaphylaxis during school hours (the risk can be reduced, for example, by prohibiting children from sharing food and eating utensils). Finally, they wanted to find out how many schools had the necessary equipment and trained staff to treat a child that develops anaphylaxis on site.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers sent a questionnaire in the mail to 250 Scottish schools. They received replies from 148 schools, of which 90 reported having at least one child with a known risk of developing anaphylaxis. Most of the schools (80%) that had children at risk had at least one staff member trained to treat anaphylaxis, and 97% of these schools had the drug adrenaline (epinephrine) on site, which is a lifesaving medication for treating anaphylaxis. But many of these schools were doing poorly at reducing the risk of anaphylaxis—for example, only one in three of these schools banned the sharing of eating utensils. Another worrying finding was that among the 58 schools that did not have children known to be at risk of anaphylaxis, less than half had a trained member of staff, and only about one in eight of these schools had adrenaline on site.
What Do These Findings Mean?
It is reassuring that most schools in Scotland that have children known to be at risk of anaphylaxis are well equipped to deal with this emergency if it occurs. But many of these schools are not doing enough to reduce the risk of anaphylaxis occurring. It is worrying that schools that don't have children known to be at risk are often very poorly equipped to deal with anaphylaxis. One weakness of this study is that 102 schools never replied to the questionnaire, so we can't know how well prepared these schools are for dealing with anaphylaxis. Nevertheless, the study suggests that there needs to be detailed guidance for all schools in Scotland on preventing and treating anaphylaxis.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at
NHS Direct page on anaphylaxis
MedlinePlus page on anaphylaxis
Mayo Clinic page on anaphylaxis
Wikipedia entry on anaphylaxis (note: Wikipedia is a free Internet encyclopedia that anyone can edit)
PMCID: PMC1551918  PMID: 16933965
2.  Anaphylaxis-related deaths in Ontario: a retrospective review of cases from 1986 to 2011 
Examining deaths caused by anaphylaxis may help identify factors that may decrease the risk of these unfortunate events. However, information on fatal anaphylaxis is limited. The objectives of our study were to examine all cases of fatal anaphylaxis in Ontario to determine cause of death, associated features, co factors and trends in mortality. The identification of these factors is important for developing effective strategies to overcome gaps in monitoring and treatment of patients with food allergies and risk for anaphylaxis.
This was a retrospective case-series analysis of all causes of anaphylaxis-related deaths using data from the Ontario Coroner’s database between 1986 and 2011. Quantitative data (e.g. demographic) were analyzed using descriptive statistics and frequency analysis using SPSS. Qualitative data were analyzed using content analysis of grounded theory methodology.
We found 92 deaths in the last 26 years related to anaphylaxis. Causes of death, in order of decreasing frequency, included food (40 cases), insect venom (30 cases), iatrogenic (16 cases), and idiopathic (6 cases). Overall, there appears to be a decline in the frequency of food related deaths, but an increase in iatrogenic causes of fatalities. We found factors associated with fatal anaphylaxis included: delayed epinephrine administration, asthma, allergy to peanut, food ingestion outside the home, and teenagers with food allergies.
Our findings indicate the need to improve epinephrine auto-injector use in acute reactions, particularly for teens and asthmatics with food allergies. In addition, education can be improved among food service workers and food industry in order to help food allergic patients avoid potentially fatal allergens. The increasing trend in iatrogenic related anaphylaxis is concerning, and requires monitoring and more investigation.
PMCID: PMC4322510  PMID: 25670935
Anaphylaxis; Severe allergic reaction; Anaphylaxis mortality; Food allergy; Medication allergy; Adverse drug reaction; Venom allergy; Insect sting allergy; Iatrogenic anaphylaxis
3.  Living with severe allergy: an Anaphylaxis Campaign national survey of young people 
The transition to adulthood can be particularly challenging for young people with severe allergies, who must learn to balance personal safety with independent living. Information and support for young people and their families are crucial to successfully managing this transition. We sought to: gather insights into the impact of severe allergies on the lives of young people; explore where young people go for information about anaphylaxis and what information they want and need; identify areas where further support is needed.
An online questionnaire survey of young people aged 15–25 years with severe allergies in the United Kingdom (UK) was conducted on behalf of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, the main patient support organisation. Participants were recruited mainly from the Anaphylaxis Campaign membership database and also via allergy clinics and social media. The study was funded by the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s In Memoriam Fund.
A total of 520 young people responded to the survey. The majority had lived with severe allergies since they were young children; 59% reported having attended Accident and Emergency units as a consequence of their allergies. Only 66% of respondents reported always carrying their epinephrine auto-injectors; only 23% had ever used these. Few were currently receiving specialist allergy care; younger respondents were more likely to be under specialist care (34%) than those 18 years and above (23%). Respondents wanted more information about eating out (56%), travelling (54%) and food labelling (43%). Almost a quarter of respondents (23%) reported needing more information on managing their allergies independently without parental help. Managing allergies in the context of social relationships was a concern for 22% of respondents.
This survey has identified the information and support needs and gaps in service provision for young people with severe allergies. Healthcare professionals and patient support organisations, with the support of the food industry, can help to meet these needs.
PMCID: PMC3560150  PMID: 23339770
Allergy; Anaphylaxis; Young people
4.  Impact of primary food allergies on the introduction of other foods amongst Canadian children and their siblings 
Food-allergic children frequently avoid other highly allergenic foods. The NIAID 2010 guidelines state that individuals with an IgE-mediated food allergy should avoid their specific allergens and physicians should help patients to decide whether certain cross-reactive foods also should be avoided. Patients at risk for developing food allergy do not need to limit exposure to foods that may be cross-reactive with the major food allergens. The purpose of this study was to determine if parents of food-allergic children are given advice regarding introduction of allergenic foods; if these foods are avoided or delayed; if there is anxiety when introducing new foods; and if introducing other allergenic foods leads to any allergic reaction. The study also determined if there was a similar pattern seen amongst younger siblings.
An online survey was administered between December 2011 and March 2012 via Anaphylaxis Canada’s website, available to Canadian parents and caregivers who are registered members of the organization and who have a child with a food allergy.
644 parents completed the online survey. 51% of families were given advice regarding the introduction of other allergenic foods. 72% were told to avoid certain foods, and 41% to delay certain foods. 58% of parents did avoid or delay other highly allergenic foods, mainly due to a fear of allergic reaction. 69% of children did not have an allergic reaction when these foods were subsequently introduced. 68% of parents felt moderate or high levels of anxiety when introducing other foods. A similar pattern was seen amongst the younger siblings.
Canadian parents and caregivers of children with food allergies receive varied advice from health care professionals regarding the introduction of new allergenic foods, and feel moderate to high levels of anxiety. A similar pattern may be seen amongst younger siblings. While the majority of children in our study did not have an allergic reaction to a new food, a significant proportion of children did react. A more consistent approach to the advice given by health care professionals may decrease parental anxiety. Further research to support the 2010 NIAID guidelines may be necessary to clarify recommendations.
PMCID: PMC4063690  PMID: 24949023
Food allergy; Siblings; Food introduction; Anxiety
5.  Tick-induced allergies: mammalian meat allergy, tick anaphylaxis and their significance 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2015;5(1):3-16.
Serious tick-induced allergies comprise mammalian meat allergy following tick bites and tick anaphylaxis. Mammalian meat allergy is an emergent allergy, increasingly prevalent in tick-endemic areas of Australia and the United States, occurring worldwide where ticks are endemic. Sensitisation to galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) has been shown to be the mechanism of allergic reaction in mammalian meat allergy following tick bite. Whilst other carbohydrate allergens have been identified, this allergen is unique amongst carbohydrate food allergens in provoking anaphylaxis. Treatment of mammalian meat anaphylaxis involves avoidance of mammalian meat and mammalian derived products in those who also react to gelatine and mammalian milks. Before initiating treatment with certain therapeutic agents (e.g., cetuximab, gelatine-containing substances), a careful assessment of the risk of anaphylaxis, including serological analysis for α-Gal specific-IgE, should be undertaken in any individual who works, lives, volunteers or recreates in a tick endemic area. Prevention of tick bites may ameliorate mammalian meat allergy. Tick anaphylaxis is rare in countries other than Australia. Tick anaphylaxis is secondarily preventable by prevention and appropriate management of tick bites. Analysis of tick removal techniques in tick anaphylaxis sufferers offers insights into primary prevention of both tick and mammalian meat anaphylaxis. Recognition of the association between mammalian meat allergy and tick bites has established a novel cause and effect relationship between an environmental exposure and subsequent development of a food allergy, directing us towards examining environmental exposures as provoking factors pivotal to the development of other food allergies and refocusing our attention upon causation of allergy in general.
PMCID: PMC4313755  PMID: 25653915
Mammalian meat; Ticks; Anaphylaxis; Alpha-gal; Cetuximab
6.  What do school personnel know, think and feel about food allergies? 
The incidence of food allergy is such that most schools will be attended by at least one food allergic child, obliging school personnel to cope with cases at risk of severe allergic reactions. Schools need to know about food allergy and anaphylaxis management to ensure the personal safety of an increasing number of students. The aim of this study was to investigate Italian school teachers and principals’ knowledge, perceptions and feelings concerning food allergy and anaphylaxis, to deeply understand how to effectively support schools to manage a severely allergic child. In addition a further assessment of the impact of multidisciplinary courses on participants was undertaken.
1184 school teachers and principals attended courses on food allergy and anaphylaxis management at school were questioned before and after their course. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyze the resulting data.
Participants tended to overestimate the prevalence of food allergy; 79.3% were able to identify the foods most likely involved and 90.8% knew the most frequent symptoms. 81.9% were familiar with the typical symptoms of anaphylaxis but, while the majority (65.4%) knew that “adrenaline” is the best medication for anaphylaxis, only 34.5% knew indications of using adrenaline in children. 48.5% thoroughly understood dietary exclusion. School personnel considered that food allergic students could have social difficulties (10.2%) and/or emotional consequences (37.2%) because of their condition. “Concern” was the emotion that most respondents (66.9%) associated with food allergy. At the end of the course, the number of correct answers to the test increased significantly.
Having adequately trained and cooperative school personnel is crucial to significantly reduce emergencies and fatal reactions. The results emphasize the need for specific educational interventions and improvements in school health policies to support schools to deal with allergic students ensuring their safety and psychological well-being.
PMCID: PMC4176479  PMID: 24274206
School; Food allergy; Anaphylaxis
7.  A global survey of changing patterns of food allergy burden in children 
While food allergies and eczema are among the most common chronic non-communicable diseases in children in many countries worldwide, quality data on the burden of these diseases is lacking, particularly in developing countries. This 2012 survey was performed to collect information on existing data on the global patterns and prevalence of food allergy by surveying all the national member societies of the World Allergy Organization, and some of their neighbouring countries. Data were collected from 89 countries, including published data, and changes in the health care burden of food allergy. More than half of the countries surveyed (52/89) did not have any data on food allergy prevalence. Only 10% (9/89) of countries had accurate food allergy prevalence data, based on oral food challenges (OFC). The remaining countries (23/89) had data largely based on parent-reporting of a food allergy diagnosis or symptoms, which is recognised to overestimate the prevalence of food allergy. Based on more accurate measures, the prevalence of clinical (OFC proven) food allergy in preschool children in developed countries is now as high as 10%. In large and rapidly emerging societies of Asia, such as China, where there are documented increases in food allergy, the prevalence of OFC-proven food allergy is now around 7% in pre-schoolers, comparable to the reported prevalence in European regions. While food allergy appears to be increasing in both developed and developing countries in the last 10–15 years, there is a lack of quality comparative data. This survey also highlights inequities in paediatric allergy services, availability of adrenaline auto-injectors and standardised National Anaphylaxis Action plans. In conclusion, there remains a need to gather more accurate data on the prevalence of food allergy in many developed and developing countries to better anticipate and address the rising community and health service burden of food allergy.
PMCID: PMC3879010  PMID: 24304599
Food allergy; Allergic disease; Allergy epidemic; Allergy prevention; Food allergens
8.  International consensus on (ICON) anaphylaxis 
ICON: Anaphylaxis provides a unique perspective on the principal evidence-based anaphylaxis guidelines developed and published independently from 2010 through 2014 by four allergy/immunology organizations. These guidelines concur with regard to the clinical features that indicate a likely diagnosis of anaphylaxis -- a life-threatening generalized or systemic allergic or hypersensitivity reaction.
They also concur about prompt initial treatment with intramuscular injection of epinephrine (adrenaline) in the mid-outer thigh, positioning the patient supine (semi-reclining if dyspneic or vomiting), calling for help, and when indicated, providing supplemental oxygen, intravenous fluid resuscitation and cardiopulmonary resuscitation, along with concomitant monitoring of vital signs and oxygenation. Additionally, they concur that H1-antihistamines, H2-antihistamines, and glucocorticoids are not initial medications of choice.
For self-management of patients at risk of anaphylaxis in community settings, they recommend carrying epinephrine auto-injectors and personalized emergency action plans, as well as follow-up with a physician (ideally an allergy/immunology specialist) to help prevent anaphylaxis recurrences.
ICON: Anaphylaxis describes unmet needs in anaphylaxis, noting that although epinephrine in 1 mg/mL ampules is available worldwide, other essentials, including supplemental oxygen, intravenous fluid resuscitation, and epinephrine auto-injectors are not universally available.
ICON: Anaphylaxis proposes a comprehensive international research agenda that calls for additional prospective studies of anaphylaxis epidemiology, patient risk factors and co-factors, triggers, clinical criteria for diagnosis, randomized controlled trials of therapeutic interventions, and measures to prevent anaphylaxis recurrences. It also calls for facilitation of global collaborations in anaphylaxis research.
In addition to confirming the alignment of major anaphylaxis guidelines, ICON: Anaphylaxis adds value by including summary tables and citing 130 key references. It is published as an information resource about anaphylaxis for worldwide use by healthcare professionals, academics, policy-makers, patients, caregivers, and the public.
PMCID: PMC4038846  PMID: 24920969
Anaphylaxis; Acute systemic allergic reaction; Epinephrine (adrenaline); H1-antihistamines; H2-antihistamines; Glucocorticoids; Food allergy; Venom allergy; Drug allergy; Exercise-induced anaphylaxis; Idiopathic anaphylaxis
9.  Health-related quality of life, assessed with a disease-specific questionnaire, in Swedish adults suffering from well-diagnosed food allergy to staple foods 
Our aim was to investigate the factors that affect health related quality of life (HRQL) in adult Swedish food allergic patients objectively diagnosed with allergy to at least one of the staple foods cow’s milk, hen’s egg or wheat. The number of foods involved, the type and severity of symptoms, as well as concomitant allergic disorders were assessed.
The disease-specific food allergy quality of life questionnaire (FAQLQ-AF), developed within EuroPrevall, was utilized. The questionnaire had four domains: Allergen Avoidance and Dietary Restrictions (AADR), Emotional Impact (EI), Risk of Accidental Exposure (RAE) and Food Allergy related Health (FAH). Comparisons were made with the outcome of the generic questionnaire EuroQol Health Questionnaire, 5 Dimensions (EQ-5D). The patients were recruited at an outpatient allergy clinic, based on a convincing history of food allergy supplemented by analysis of specific IgE to the foods in question. Seventy-nine patients participated (28 males, 51 females, mean-age 41 years).
The domain with the most negative impact on HRQL was AADR, assessing the patients’ experience of dietary restrictions. The domain with the least negative impact on HRQL was FAH, relating to health concerns due to the food allergy. One third of the patients had four concomitant allergic disorders, which had a negative impact on HRQL. Furthermore, asthma in combination with food allergy had a strong impact. Anaphylaxis, and particularly prescription of an epinephrine auto-injector, was associated with low HRQL. These effects were not seen using EQ-5D. Analyses of the symptoms revealed that oral allergy syndrome and cardiovascular symptoms had the greatest impact on HRQL. In contrast, no significant effect on HRQL was seen by the number of food allergies.
The FAQLQ-AF is a valid instrument, and more accurate among patients with allergy to staple foods in comparison to the commonly used generic EQ-5D. It adds important information on HRQL in food allergic adults. We found that the restrictions imposed on the patients due to the diet had the largest negative impact on HRQL. Both severity of the food allergy and the presence of concomitant allergic disorders had a profound impact on HRQL.
PMCID: PMC3702411  PMID: 23816063
Food allergy; Adults; Health-related quality of life; Instrument; Questionnaire
10.  Exploring Low-Income Families' Financial Barriers to Food Allergy Management and Treatment 
Journal of Allergy  2014;2014:160363.
Objectives. Low-income families may face financial barriers to management and treatment of chronic illnesses. No studies have explored how low-income individuals and families with anaphylactic food allergies cope with financial barriers to anaphylaxis management and/or treatment. This study explores qualitatively assessed direct, indirect, and intangible costs of anaphylaxis management and treatment faced by low-income families. Methods. In-depth, semistructured interviews with 23 participants were conducted to gain insight into income-related barriers to managing and treating anaphylactic food allergies. Results. Perceived direct costs included the cost of allergen-free foods and allergy medication and costs incurred as a result of misinformation about social support programs. Perceived indirect costs included those associated with lack of continuity of health care. Perceived intangible costs included the stress related to the difficulty of obtaining allergen-free foods at the food bank and feeling unsafe at discount grocery stores. These perceived costs represented barriers that were perceived as especially salient for the working poor, immigrants, youth living in poverty, and food bank users. Discussion. Low-income families report significant financial barriers to food allergy management and anaphylaxis preparedness. Clinicians, advocacy groups, and EAI manufacturers all have a role to play in ensuring equitable access to medication for low-income individuals with allergies.
PMCID: PMC3945149  PMID: 24693292
11.  Experiencing a first food allergic reaction: a survey of parent and caregiver perspectives 
Insufficient knowledge of food allergy and anaphylaxis has been identified by caregivers as an important barrier to coping, and a potential cause of fear and anxiety, particularly for those with children newly diagnosed with food allergy.
The purpose of the study was to better understand the experiences of caregivers of children with a first allergic reaction to food, and to identify any deficiencies in the information received at diagnosis.
A mixed-methods study consisting of an online survey administered to the Anaphylaxis Canada online registry (a patient support group database of approximately 10,000 members), and a follow-up qualitative interview with a subset of survey participants. Analysis consisted of frequency analysis (quantitative and qualitative data) and descriptive statistics to calculate proportions and means with standard deviations. Qualitative analyses were guided by the constant comparative method of grounded theory methodology.
Of 293 survey respondents, 208 were eligible to complete the survey (first allergic reaction to food within 12 months of the study), and 184 respondents consented. Identified gaps included education about food allergy, anaphylaxis management, for example, how to use epinephrine auto- injectors, and coping strategies for fear and anxiety. The qualitative follow-up study supported these findings, yielding 3 major themes: 1) lack of provision of information following the episode on the recognition and management of food allergy related allergic reactions, 2) prolonged wait times for an allergist, and 3) significant family anxiety.
The online survey highlighted multiple deficiencies at diagnosis, findings which were supported by the follow up qualitative study. Results will inform the development of educational strategies for patients newly diagnosed with food allergy.
PMCID: PMC3671211  PMID: 23718700
Anaphylaxis; Food allergy; Qualitative methods
12.  Food allergies in developing and emerging economies: need for comprehensive data on prevalence rates 
Although much is known today about the prevalence of food allergy in the developed world, there are serious knowledge gaps about the prevalence rates of food allergy in developing countries. Food allergy affects up to 6% of children and 4% of adults. Symptoms include urticaria, gastrointestinal distress, failure to thrive, anaphylaxis and even death. There are over 170 foods known to provoke allergic reactions. Of these, the most common foods responsible for inducing 90% of reported allergic reactions are peanuts, milk, eggs, wheat, nuts (e.g., hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, cashews, pecans, etc.), soybeans, fish, crustaceans and shellfish. Current assumptions are that prevalence rates are lower in developing countries and emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India which raises questions about potential health impacts should the assumptions not be supported by evidence. As the health and social burden of food allergy can be significant, national and international efforts focusing on food security, food safety, food quality and dietary diversity need to pay special attention to the role of food allergy in order to avoid marginalization of sub-populations in the community. More importantly, as the major food sources used in international food aid programs are frequently priority allergens (e.g., peanut, milk, eggs, soybean, fish, wheat), and due to the similarities between food allergy and some malnutrition symptoms, it will be increasingly important to understand and assess the interplay between food allergy and nutrition in order to protect and identify appropriate sources of foods for sensitized sub-populations especially in economically disadvantaged countries and communities.
PMCID: PMC3551706  PMID: 23256652
Food allergy; Food hypersensitivity; Nutrition; Developing countries
13.  Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States 
Food allergy is an important public health problem that affects children and adults and may be increasing in prevalence. Despite the risk of severe allergic reactions and even death, there is no current treatment for food allergy: the disease can only be managed by allergen avoidance or treatment of symptoms. The diagnosis and management of food allergy also may vary from one clinical practice setting to another. Finally, because patients frequently confuse nonallergic food reactions, such as food intolerance, with food allergies, there is an unfounded belief among the public that food allergy prevalence is higher than it truly is. In response to these concerns, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, working with 34 professional organizations, federal agencies, and patient advocacy groups, led the development of clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of food allergy. These Guidelines are intended for use by a wide variety of health care professionals, including family practice physicians, clinical specialists, and nurse practitioners. The Guidelines include a consensus definition for food allergy, discuss comorbid conditions often associated with food allergy, and focus on both IgE-mediated and non-IgE-mediated reactions to food. Topics addressed include the epidemiology, natural history, diagnosis, and management of food allergy, as well as the management of severe symptoms and anaphylaxis. These Guidelines provide 43 concise clinical recommendations and additional guidance on points of current controversy in patient management. They also identify gaps in the current scientific knowledge to be addressed through future research.
PMCID: PMC4241964  PMID: 21134576
food; allergy; anaphylaxis; diagnosis; disease management; guidelines
14.  IgE mediated food allergy in Korean children: focused on plant food allergy 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2013;3(1):15-22.
Food allergy (FA) is a worldwide problem, with increasing prevalence in many countries, and it poses a clearly increasing health problem in Korea. In Korea, as a part of International Study of Asthma and Allergy in Childhood (ISAAC), a series of nation-wide population studies for prevalence of allergic disease in children were carried out, with the Korean version of ISAAC in 1995, 2000, and 2010. From the survey, the twelve-month prevalence of FA showed no significant differences from 1995 to 2000 in both age groups (6-12 years-old, 6.5% in 1995 and 5.7% in 2000; 12-15 year-olds, 7.4% in 1995 and 8.6% in 2000). The mean lifetime prevalence of FA which had ever been diagnosed by medical doctor was 4.7% in 6-12 year-olds and 5.1% in 12-15 year-olds respectively in 2000. In Korean children, the major causes of FA are almost same as in other countries, although the order prevalence may vary, a prime example of which being that peanut and tree nut allergies are not prevalent, as in western countries. Both pediatric emergency department (ED) visits and deaths relating to food induced anaphylaxis have also increased in western countries. From a study which based on data from the Korean Health Insurance Review and Assessment Service (KHIRA) from 2001 to 2007, the incidence of anaphylaxis under the age of 19 was 0.7-1 per 100,000 person-year, and foods (24.9%) were the most commonly identified cause of childhood anaphylaxis. In another epidemiologic study, involving 78889 patients aged 0-18 years who visited the EDs of 9 hospitals during June 2008 to Mar 2009, the incidence of food related anaphylaxis was 4.56 per 10,000 pediatric ED visits. From these studies, common causes of food related anaphylaxis were seafood, buckwheat, cow's milk, fruits, peanut and tree nuts. Although systematic epidemiologic studies have not reported on the matter, recently, plant foods related allergy has increased in Korean children. Among 804 children with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis, we reveals that the peanut sensitization rate in Korea reaches 18%, and that, when sensitized to peanut, patients showed a significant tendency to have co-sensitization with house dust mites, egg white, wheat, and soybean. The higher specific IgE to peanut was related to the likelihood of the patient developing severe systemic reactions. In another study, based on the data analysis of 69 patients under 4 years of age who had suspected peanut and tree nut allergy, 22 (31.9%) were sensitized to walnut (>0.35 kU/L, 0.45-27.4 kU/L) and 6 (8.7%) experienced anaphylaxis due to a small amount of walnut exposure. Furthermore, in this review, clinical and immunological studies on plant food allergies, such as buckwheat allergy, rice allergy, barley allergy, and kiwi fruit allergy, in Korean children are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3563016  PMID: 23403730
Food allergy; Korean children; Anaphylaxis; Plant food allergy
15.  Pediatric Anaphylaxis Management in the Prehospital Setting 
Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening systemic allergic reaction that occurs after contact with an allergy-causing substance. Timely administration of intramuscular epinephrine is the treatment of choice for controlling symptoms and decreasing fatalities. Our purpose was to investigate the prehospital management of anaphylaxis among patients receiving care in an urban tertiary care pediatric emergency department (PED).
We performed a retrospective chart review from May, 2008 to January, 2010 of patients 18 years or younger who received care in the PED for anaphylaxis. Data were extracted by one investigator and included demographic information, patient symptoms, past medical history, medications administered (including route and provider), and final disposition.
We reviewed 218 cases of anaphylaxis in 202 children. Mean age of patients was 7.4 years; 56% of patients were male. Two hundred and fourteen (98%) manifested symptoms in the skin/mucosal system, 68% had respiratory symptoms, 44% had gastrointestinal symptoms, and 2% had hypotension. Sixty-seven percent had a previous history of allergic reaction and 38% had a history of asthma. Seventy-six percent of the patients presented with anaphylaxis to food products, 8% to medications, 1% to stings, and 16% to unknown allergens. Reactions occurred at home or with family members 87% of the time, and at school 12% of the time. Only 36% of the patients who met criteria for anaphylaxis had epinephrine administered by emergency medical services (EMS). Among 26 patients with anaphylactic reactions at school, 69% received epinephrine by the school nurse. Of the 117 patients with known allergies who were with their parents at the time of anaphylactic reaction, 41% received epinephrine. Thirteen patients were seen by a physician prior to coming to the PED; all received epinephrine at the physician’s office. In total, epinephrine was given to 41% (89) of the 218 cases prior to coming to the PED.
Our evaluation revealed low rates of epinephrine administration by EMS providers and parents/patients. Education about anaphylaxis is imperative to encourage earlier administration of epinephrine.
PMCID: PMC3865171  PMID: 24028748
Anaphylaxis; Prehospital care; Pediatric Emergency Department; Emergency Medical Services; Pediatrics; Nurses
16.  267 Recurrent Aanaphylaxis in Cow Milk Allergy: What Is Wrong? 
Food allergens are one of the most important triggers of anaphylaxis in pediatric population and all efforts must be done to avoid new episodes.
To determine some factors associated to recurrent anaphylaxis induced by cow´s milk (CM) in pediatric patients with a previous anaphylactic episodes.
This is a retrospective study based on medical records from all CM anaphylactic patients, from a Brazilian reference center for food allergy. The anaphylaxis criterion used was based on the Second symposium on the definition and management of anaphylaxis. Patients and parents had received orientation regarding prevention of new episodes, including information about hidden allergens, label reading, and synonymous terms.
It was included 53 patients (33M: 20F), median age of the first episode of anaphylaxis was 6 months (range 1–87 month) and in 56. 6% the first episode occurred until the age of 6 months. Fifty episodes were observed in 22 patients during the follow up. Twelve patients presented 2 or more episodes and 2 patients presented 6 episodes. It was not possible to detect the trigger food in 17 episodes and these situations were related to ingestion of: appetizers (4), margarine (3), bread (2), pizza (2), juice with casein (1), pasta (1), cake (1), chips (1), Italian sausage (1). Two episodes were challenged by accidentally skin contact and 2 by inhalation. Among the settings of episodes, the majority occurred at home. Other places included: school, restaurants and bakery.
This study showed that it is very difficult to reach success only with the orientations regarding anaphylaxis prevention. It is necessary to betake of other strategies to improve the measure to avoid new episodes of anaphylaxis such as: folders, visual midia and interactive activities. Furthermore, the continuous education is essential to reinforce the knowledge.
PMCID: PMC3512683
17.  The epidemiology of anaphylaxis in Europe: protocol for a systematic review 
The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology is in the process of developing its Guideline for Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis, and this systematic review is one of seven inter-linked evidence syntheses that are being undertaken in order to provide a state-of-the-art synopsis of the current evidence base in relation to epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis and clinical management and impact on quality of life, which will be used to inform clinical recommendations.
The aims of this systematic review will be to understand and describe the epidemiology of anaphylaxis, i.e. frequency, risk factors and outcomes of anaphylaxis, and describe how these characteristics vary by person, place and time.
A highly sensitive search strategy has been designed to retrieve all articles combining the concepts of anaphylaxis and epidemiology from electronic bibliographic databases.
This review will aim to provide some estimates of the incidence and prevalence of anaphylaxis in Europe. The occurrence of anaphylaxis can have a profound effect on the quality of life of the sufferer and their family. Estimates of disease frequency will help us to ascertain the burden of anaphylaxis and provide useful comparators for management strategies.
PMCID: PMC3685580  PMID: 23537345
Anaphylaxis; Allergy; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Incidence
18.  Antenatal risk factors for peanut allergy in children 
Prenatal factors may contribute to the development of peanut allergy. We evaluated the risk of childhood peanut allergy in association with pregnancy exposure to Rh immune globulin, folic acid and ingestion of peanut-containing foods.
We conducted a web-based case-control survey using the Anaphylaxis Canada Registry, a pre-existing database of persons with a history of anaphylaxis. A total of 1300 case children with reported peanut allergy were compared to 113 control children with shellfish allergy. All were evaluated for maternal exposure in pregnancy to Rh immune globulin and folic acid tablet supplements, as well as maternal avoidance of dietary peanut intake in pregnancy.
Receipt of Rh immune globulin in pregnancy was not associated with a higher risk of peanut allergy (odds ratio [OR] 0.86, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.51 to 1.45), nor was initiation of folic acid tablet supplements before or after conception (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.19 to 1.48). Complete avoidance of peanut-containing products in pregnancy was associated with a non-significantly lower risk of peanut allergy (OR 0.53, 95% CI 0.27 to 1.03).
The risk of childhood peanut allergy was not modified by the following common maternal exposures in pregnancy: Rh immune globulin, folic acid or peanut-containing foods.
Clinical implications
Rh immune globulin, folic acid supplement use and peanut avoidance in pregnancy have yet to be proven to modulate the risk of childhood anaphylaxis to peanuts.
Capsule Summary
Identification of prenatal factors that contribute to peanut allergy might allow for prevention of this life-threatening condition. This article explores the role of three such factors.
PMCID: PMC3213059  PMID: 21970733
Allergy; peanut; shellfish; prenatal; antenatal; pregnancy; folic acid; Rh immune globulin; survey
19.  Oral food challenge to wheat: a near-fatal anaphylaxis and review of 93 food challenges in children 
Wheat allergy is among the most common food allergy in children, but few publications are available assessing the risk of anaphylaxis due to wheat.
In this study, we report the case of near-fatal anaphylaxis to wheat in a patient undergoing an oral food challenge (OFC) after the ingestion of a low dose (256 mg) of wheat. Moreover, for the first time, we analyzed the risk of anaphylaxis during an OFC to wheat in 93 children, compared to other more commonly challenged foods such as milk, egg, peanuts, and soy in more than 1000 patients.
This study, which includes a large number of OFCs to wheat, shows that wheat is an independent risk factor that is associated with anaphylaxis requiring epinephrine administration (Odds Ratio [OR] = 2.4) and anaphylaxis requiring epinephrine administration to low dose antigen (OR = 8.02). Other risk factors for anaphylaxis, anaphylaxis requiring epinephrine administration, and anaphylaxis to low dose antigen was a history of a prior reaction not involving only the skin (OR = 1.8, 1.9 and 1.8 respectively). None of the clinical variables available prior to performing the OFC could predict which children among those undergoing OFCs to wheat would develop anaphylaxis or anaphylaxis for low dose antigen.
This study shows that wheat is an independent risk factor that is associated with anaphylaxis requiring epinephrine administration and anaphylaxis requiring epinephrine administration to low dose antigen.
PMCID: PMC3765891  PMID: 23965733
Our experiments have confirmed the fact that the so called bacterial allergies are dependent upon a mechanism which differs materially from that determining true protein anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis to protein substances of the bacteria probably occurs but plays a relatively unimportant rôle in the phenomena of infection. The bacterial allergies, however, are of great importance since they develop rapidly and render the infected animal highly vulnerable to products of the bacterial growth which are relatively innocuous for the normal animal. Neither the type-specific carbohydrate "residue antigens" (the "soluble specific substances" of Avery and Heidelberger) nor the antibodies reacting with them play any part whatever in bacterial allergy, and since these type-specific substances represent the haptophore groups of the whole bacteria by which they react with the agglutinins, precipitins, sensitizers, etc., of immune serum, allergy, as previously determined by Mackenzie and Woo, is in no way related to that phase of resistance which is determined by these antibodies. This does not, however, preclude the possibility that allergic hypersusceptibility may not in some way be related to other factors of resistance more definitely associated with cellular rather than with intravascular reactions. Our previous studies with Jennings and Ward in tuberculosis point in this direction (20). Guinea pigs can be actively sensitized with all the bacteria with which we have worked when repeated injections of whole bacteria or of the protein (nucleoprotein) fraction are administered. Large amounts of the latter are necessary since these materials are indifferent antigens, possibly because of the severe manipulations necessary in their production. Sensitiveness develops usually within 10 days after the first dose and increases with continued treatment for 3 or 4 weeks. Sensitiveness is relatively specific, by which we mean that there is a definite specificity which, however, in highly sensitive animals is not absolute and shows considerable overlapping. Continued treatment with considerable quantities of the above substances leads to gradual desensitization in animals in which there are no chronic foci present, which, as in tuberculosis, tends to continue the sensitization. Attempts at passive sensitization have been irregular and inconclusive. When any degree of sensitiveness has developed after the injection of immune sera, it has appeared late and has been of doubtful specificity. Conversely we have failed in any case to neutralize the activity of the active allergic constituents of bacterial extracts by incubation with any type of immune serum. We have failed so far to show any increased fixation of tuberculin material on the part of tuberculous tissues or on that of living tuberculous animals. These failures, however, seem to us of relatively slight importance since quantitative experiments of this nature are extremely difficult in the case of a substance as delicately potent for the tuberculous animal. On the other hand we have obtained definite, though irregular evidence that the incubation of O.T. with fragments of tuberculous lung tissue (less clearly with other tissues) leads to the formation of a substance that produces allergy-like lesions in the skin of normal guinea pigs. With somewhat greater regularity, similar treatment of O.T. has enhanced the potency of the tuberculin for tuberculous animals. And, in these experiments there was evidence that the factor responsible for this action was not easily separable from the cells themselves. When these experimental data are analytically considered they appear in many respects confusing and contradictory. There has been so much work done on the tuberculin reaction, moreover, that, in the face of experimental inconsistencies it would seem foolhardy to formulate more than tentative suggestions to explain the mechanism of these reactions. Nevertheless there are a few outstanding and sufficiently reliable facts which compel a limited number of definite deductions. In the first place there is no question of the complete independence of the true allergic phenomena from the ordinary bacterial antigen-antibody reactions. We know, moreover, that the allergic substance is chemically separable from the carbohydrate "residue" or haptophore group of the bacteria (Mueller, Laidlaw and Dudley). Indeed it has been shown by Long and Seibert (21) that the active allergic substance is either a protein in itself, or at any rate closely associated with the bacterial protein. Furthermore, the distinct, though limited, specificity of the allergic sensitiveness compels the conclusion that we are dealing with an immunological process in which the tissue cells acquire an increased specific capacity to react with this nitrogenous material, a capacity which, in principle, is not far removed from the supposed "sessile receptor" apparatus which is conventionally held responsible for protein anaphylaxis; and this analogy is further amplified by the apparent desensitization which continued treatment produced in many of our own experiments as well as in those of Mackenzie and Woo. Here, however, the analogy with protein anaphylaxis ends. Passive sensitization with any form of immune serum or with the sera of highly sensitized animals is either feeble or entirely unsuccessful and indicates quite convincingly that, whatever the receptor apparatus of the cells may be, it is not easily given up to the blood stream as are ordinary antibodies. Further than this, our tissue-tuberculin experiments, irregular and occasional as they were, nevertheless convinced us that: 1. The contact with the tissues of tuberculous animals results in the production of a toxic factor, not unlike the autolytic toxic materials of some bacteria. 2. The active cell constituent by which this action is wrought, is not easily separated from the cells, even by energetic methods of extraction. This close association of the entire process with the cells themselves is particularly significant in view of the obvious cell injury in which these delayed allergic effects differ from the ordinary urticarial, evanescent reactions associated with protein anaphylaxis. The process of allergy, as far as we can approach it then, may be conceived as follows: A nitrogenous, probably protein, constituent of the bacterial growth or of its body substance stimulates a specific reaction in the tissue cell by which its specific capacity to establish contact with this constituent is enhanced. The cell is thereby enabled to exert a, probably, enzyme-like effect upon this material in consequence of which a toxic substance is liberated, largely upon or possibly within the cell itself. Both processes may be dependent upon one and the same reaction body. But it seems more likely that increased contact and the increased cell activity are separately developed, an assumption which is rendered probable by the association of the highest degrees of allergy with inflammatory cell reactions, and by the fact that moderate and less specific allergic sensitiveness follows 10 or more days after the administration of considerable amounts of indifferent protein substances to guinea pigs. We interpret this as signifying that such injections may non-speciffcally increase cellular activity, a change which many earlier workers have spoken of as "cell irritability." Both processes are closely associated with the altered cell itself and the factors by which the reaction is brought about are not easily given up to the blood stream as are the antibodies formed in response to injections of proteins or whole bacteria. We are confronted, therefore, with an immunological mechanism which has some close analogies to those others in which circulating antibodies are formed, but which differs from these mainly in the intimacy with which the entire reacting system is associated with the cells themselves. It is difficult to conceive that a functional cell alteration, as profound as this, should be entirely unrelated to the phenomena of susceptibility or resistance.
PMCID: PMC2131218  PMID: 19869221
21.  Review of the use of cephalosporins in children with anaphylactic reactions from penicillins  
It is a widely accepted practice that children with anaphylaxis from penicillins should avoid cephalosporins. The purpose of the present study was to determine whether there is evidence in the literature to support this practice.
MEDLINE, EMBASE, Toxline, International Pharmaceutical Abstracts and PubMed were used to search the literature published from 1966 to 2001. The Canadian Medical Protective Association, Health Canada and the Boston Collaborative Drug Surveillance Program were also contacted to determine whether there were any unpublished cases of cross-reactivity between penicillins and cephalosporins.
Cases describing the use of cephalosporins in adults and children with positive penicillin skin tests or anaphylaxis from penicillin were evaluated. Case reports of anaphylaxis from cephalosporins in paediatric patients were identified.
There have been five reported cases of serious reactions from cephalosporins in patients with a history of anaphylaxis from penicillins. All cases occurred in adults; three developed anaphylaxis from the older, first-generation cephalosporins, cephalothin and cephaloridine; one developed anaphylaxis from cefamandole; and one developed anaphylaxis from cefaclor. There have been 12 other published reports of anaphylaxis from cephalosporins in adults with a history of penicillin allergy or a positive penicillin skin test, but with no history of anaphylaxis from penicillin. In seven studies, in which a total of 158 patients with positive penicillin skin tests were administered cephalosporins, seven had apparent immunoglobulin E-mediated reactions when they were given a cephalosporin. When the class of cephalosporin was able to be determined, none of the reports of reactions from cephalosporins in patients with allergies to penicillin involved third-generation cephalosporins. There have been 13 case reports of anaphylaxis from cephalosporins in paediatric patients.
There are no published case reports of anaphylaxis from cephalosporins in children with anaphylaxis from penicillin, and there are only a small number of such reports in adults. Anaphylaxis from cephalosporins appears to be incredibly rare in children. There is minimal evidence in the literature to support the avoidance of cephalosporins in children with anaphylaxis from penicillins.
PMCID: PMC2094874  PMID: 18159398
Anaphylaxis; Antibiotic allergy; Antibiotic hypersensitivity; Cephalosporins; Cross-reactivity; Drug allergy; Drug hypersensitivity; Penicillin
22.  423 Multiple Manifestations of Food Allergy in a Patient with a Change of Eating Habits 
Food-induced allergic reactions are responsible for a variety of symptoms and disorders involving the skin, gastrointestinal and respiratory tracts and can be attributed to IgE-mediated and non–IgE-mediated (cellular) mechanisms.
Food allergy frequency varies according to age, local diet, and many other factors. The diagnosis of food allergy is based on clinical history, skin prick test (SPT), food specific IgE and more recently atopy patch tests (APT). If needed the use of an oral food challenge to confirm allergy or tolerance.
Describes the case of a patient with multiple manifestations of food allergy after eating habit change.
Man 20 years with a history of food allergy to egg in childhood (at date in remission) asthma and rhinitis and urticaria in contact to cats. He presents an atopic dermatitis, recurrent abdominal pain and diarrhea 18 months after change in eating habits (he became vegetarian). He also presents oral syndrome with cow's milk. The patient had 4 episodes of anaphylaxis post prandial grade 3. In 3 of them the patient ate goat cheese and the other cow cheese. Also 2 of the episodes were associated with exercise. Skin prick tests with goat`s cheese: 13 mm, cow´s milk: 8 mm wheat: 3 mm, corn 3 mm, chicken 3.5 mm, egg yolk: 3.5 mm, avocado and rice 3 mm. Atopy patch test: (+ +) goat`s milk (+) peanuts and coffee. Total IgE 686 IU/mL.
Foods with positive results were excluded from the diet and a complete remission of atopic dermatitis, abdominal pain, diarrhea and anaphylaxis was observed. All foods were reintroduced successfully except milk of goats and cows milk. The patient is currently asymptomatic.
The literature describes different kinds of manifestations of food allergy: immediate hypersensitivity (IgE mediated), delayed hypersensitivity (T lymphocytes mediated) and mixed. Highlights in this case an adult patient with a history of atopy who makes changes in eating habits, developping a food allergy to goat´s and cow s milk, with immediate (anaphylaxis, oral syndrome) and delayed manifestations (atopic dermatitis and chronic diarrhea).
PMCID: PMC3512613
23.  Algorithm for the Diagnosis of Anaphylaxis and its Validation Using Population Based Data on Emergency Department Visits for Anaphylaxis in Florida 
Epidemiological studies of anaphylaxis have been limited by significant under-diagnosis.
The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a method for capturing previously unidentified anaphylaxis cases by using International Classification of Disease Ninth Revision Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) based data sets.
Florida emergency department data for 2005–2006 from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration were used. Patients with anaphylaxis were identified using ICD-9-CM codes specifically indicating anaphylaxis or an ICD-9-CM algorithm based on the definition of anaphylaxis proposed at the 2005 National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network symposium. Cases ascertained with the algorithm were compared to the traditional case ascertainment method. Comparisons included demographic and clinical risk factors, proportion of monthly visits, and age/sex specific rates. Cases ascertained with anaphylaxis ICD-9-CM codes were excluded from those ascertained with the algorithm.
1149 patients were identified by anaphylaxis ICD-9-CM codes and 1602 cases were identified using the algorithm. The clinical risk factors and demographics of cases were consistent between the two methods. However, the algorithm was more likely to identify older individuals (p<0.0001), those with hypertension or heart disease (p<0.0001), and individuals with venom-induced anaphylaxis (p<0.0001).
This study introduces and validates an ICD-9-CM based diagnostic algorithm for the diagnosis of anaphylaxis to capture individuals missed using the ICD-9-CM anaphylaxis codes. 58% of anaphylaxis cases would be missed without the use of the algorithm, including 88% of venom-induced cases.
PMCID: PMC4158741  PMID: 20541247
Anaphylaxis; epidemiology; emergency; ICD-9-CM; Under-diagnosis
24.  A 4-month-old baby boy presenting with anaphylaxis to a banana: a case report 
Food allergy is the most common cause of anaphylaxis in children and recent studies suggest increased prevalence of both food allergy and anaphylaxis. Among foods, fruits are rarely implicated as the cause of anaphylaxis. Furthermore, anaphylaxis to fruit in the first months of life is rare. Although banana allergy has been well described in adults, there are only two case reports of anaphylaxis to banana in children.
Case presentation
A 4-month-old Hispanic baby boy with a history of eczema presented to our emergency room with vomiting, urticaria and cyanosis following first exposure to a banana. He improved with administration of intramuscular epinephrine. Skin prick tests showed positive results for both fresh banana (4mm wheal/15mm erythema) and banana extract (8mm wheal/20mm erythema).
Banana is not considered a highly allergenic food. However, as food allergy becomes more common and solid foods are being introduced earlier in babies, banana may become an important allergen to consider in cases of babies presenting with anaphylaxis.
PMCID: PMC3943369  PMID: 24552517
25.  422 A Rare Case of Food-induced Anaphylaxis to Pink Peppercorns 
The incidence and prevalence of food allergies appear to be on the rise over the past 20 years. The most common foods to produce an IgE mediated hypersensitivity reaction in adults include peanut, tree nuts, and seafood. The increased use of spices in the U.S. has resulted in a growing number of patients presenting with hypersensitivity reactions.
We report a case of a 26 year-old-female who developed anaphylaxis after ingesting pink peppercorn seasoning. The patient was diagnosed with a tree nut allergy at 18 years of age when she developed hives, vomiting and throat closure after ingesting cashews. More recently, she had 3 similar anaphylactic episodes requiring epinephrine and emergency room care when she unknowingly consumed tree nuts contained in foods while dining out (veggie burger, pesto sauce, almonds in Indian food). She again had similar symptoms while eating a home prepared meal in which tree nuts were not included. Intramuscular epinephrine was administered and she was subsequently treated with oral steroids and antihistamines. It was later determined that a new peppercorn medley with pink peppercorns was used for seasoning. The reaction did not occur when she ate the same meal without pink peppercorn seasoning. Food specific IgE testing revealed an elevated IgE for cashews (2.52 kUA/L) and pistachios (2.85 kUA/L).
Pink peppercorn is not a true pepper, but dried roasted berries derived from Schinus terebinthifolius, a flowering plant in the family Anacardiaceae, native to South America. Common names include Brazilian Pepper, Rose Pepper and Christmasberry. Pink peppercorns are used as a spice to add a mild pepper-like taste to foods. It may potentially cause an irritating skin effect and has been associated with atopic dermatitis in canines. Interestingly, S. terebinthifolius is a member of the family Anacardiaceae, which include plants in the genus Anacardium (cashew nut) and Pistacia (pistachio). No allergens from this plant have been characterized but there is potential for cross-reactivity among different members of the Anacardiaceae family.
This is the first reported case of a patient developing anaphylaxis after pink peppercorn ingestion. Patients with tree nut allergies may need to be educated regarding this potential allergen.
PMCID: PMC3512604

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