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1.  Common Causes of Anaphylaxis in Children: The First Report of Anaphylaxis Registry in Iran 
Anaphylaxis is an acute, systemic, and potentially fatal allergic reaction. Many things can cause anaphylaxis potentially but some agents are more common like some foods (milk, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nut, shellfish, and fish), insect stings, medications, latex, and food-dependent exercise-induced anaphylaxis. The goal of this study is to show the common causes of anaphylaxis among the children with anaphylaxis history who were referred to the Immunology, Asthma and Allergy Research Institute (IAARI) during a 4-year period (2005-2009).
Methods and Materials
During those 4 years, we registered all children (<14 years old) with a history of anaphylactic reaction. To prove the cause of anaphylaxis, we performed skin prick tests with suspected agents according to their history and measured specific IgE against them by the ImmunoCAP test. Recognition of common allergens was based on having a positive history for 1 allergen and positive skin prick test or specific IgE for that at the same time, or having positive results from both tests when the allergen was unclear. Idiopathic anaphylaxis was a reaction when any known allergen and positive tests were not obtained.
One hundred ninety-three nonfatal anaphylactic attacks among 63 children were recognized. In total, the most current cause of anaphylaxis in children was food (89.7%). Milk (49.3%) and wheat (26.1%) were the most common. Other foods were egg (8.7%), nuts (2.8%), and spices (2.8%). Six children (8.7%) were sensitive to multiple food allergens like milk, egg, and wheat. Five (7.1%) of 63 patients had anaphylactic attack because of stinging. Wasp was the trigger in 3 (4.3%) of them and honeybee was the cause in 1 (1.4%). The last one was because of unknown hymenoptera. There were 2 idiopathic cases of all 63 patients.
Food allergens, especially milk and wheat, are the most common cause of anaphylaxis in children. Because anaphylaxis can be fatal, it is advisable to recognize its causes in different communities to prevent recurrent attacks.
PMCID: PMC3651078  PMID: 23282381
anaphylaxis; common causes; children
2.  492 Nationwide Survey of Immediate Type Food Allergy in Japan 
The food labeling system for food allergens was introduced from April 2002 in Japan. To confirm the effectiveness of the system, we regularly conduct a nationwide food allergy survey every 3 years.
The survey was conducted in cooperation with over 1000 volunteer allergists in Japan at 2001, 2002, 2005 and 2008. We sent questionnaire to contributing doctors every 3 months based on the past survey system, and contributing doctors were asked to report immediate type food allergy cases seen by those doctors. In this survey, immediate type food allergy was defined as the patients who had developed symptoms due to food allergic reaction within 60 minutes after intake of offending food. The details of questionnaire consisted of age, sex, cause of food allergy, symptoms, CAP system, and type of onset.
A total of 8581 immediate type food allergy cases were reported by the doctors. The most common offending foods were hen's egg (39.0%), milk products (18.0%), wheat (9.4%), fruit (5.3%), crustacean (4.6%), peanuts (3.7%), fish egg, buckwheat and fish (3.6%). The most common clinical symptom was observed on skin (89.7%) followed by respiratory system (29.6%). Interestingly, the causes of food allergy were completely different from infancy (egg, milk, and wheat) to adulthood (wheat, crustacean and fruits). Anaphylactic shock was observed in 10.9% of the total reported cases. The cases of anaphylactic shock were due to hen's egg (27.1%), milk products (21.4%) and wheat (18.1%). Eleven percentages of patients had been hospitalized.
We revealed the current condition of the immediate type food allergy cases seen in Japan recent decade. Based on these data, countermeasures against food allergy are ongoing in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan in order to improve quality of life of patients.
PMCID: PMC3512847
3.  Food allergy in gastroenterologic diseases: Review of literature 
Food allergy is a common and increasing problem worldwide. The newly-found knowledge might provide novel experimental strategies, especially for laboratory diagnosis. Approximately 20% of the population alters their diet for a perceived adverse reaction to food, but the application of double-blind placebo-controlled oral food challenge, the “gold standard” for diagnosis of food allergy, shows that questionnaire-based studies overestimate the prevalence of food allergies. The clinical disorders determined by adverse reactions to food can be classified on the basis of immunologic or nonimmunologic mechanisms and the organ system or systems affected. Diagnosis of food allergy is based on clinical history, skin prick tests, and laboratory tests to detect serum-food specific IgE, elimination diets and challenges. The primary therapy for food allergy is to avoid the responsible food. Antihistamines might partially relieve oral allergy syndrome and IgE-mediated skin symptoms, but they do not block systemic reactions. Systemic corticosteroids are generally effective in treating chronic IgE-mediated disorders. Epinephrine is the mainstay of treatment for anaphylaxis. Experimental therapies for IgE-mediated food allergy have been evaluated, such as humanized IgG anti-IgE antibodies and allergen specific immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC4087536  PMID: 17203514
Food intolerance; Food allergy; Skin prick test; Serum food-specific IgE; Oral food challenges
4.  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
5.  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
6.  434 Frequency of Food-sensitization by Prick-to-Prick Test and Atopy Patch Test in Allergic Children 
Food-allergy is a substantial and evolving health issue. We evaluate the frequency of food sensitization by prick-to-prick and atopy patch test (APT) in allergic children in a tertiary pediatric care center.
Cross-sectional retrospective study of prick-to-prick and APT tests made in atopic children attending to the Pediatric Allergy and Clinical Immunology outpatient clinic aged 6 months to 19 years. Patients were stratified in 4 groups according to age (<1, 1–5, 6–10 and >11 years), and by atopy-related diagnosis (asthma, rhinitis, food allergy, atopic dermatitis and eosinophilic gastroenteropathy).
Total of 170 prick-to-prick with fresh foods were made, 135 were positive with the next distribution: milk 28.8%, (95% CI, 21.3-36.3%), egg white 20.1% (95% CI, 13.5-26.8%), banana 19.4% (95% CI, 12.8-26%). Sensitization to milk was most common in children aged 1 to 5 years old with 26.9% (95% CI, 17.1-36.8%) compared with corn, nuts and peanuts P < 0.05. Sensitization to milk was the most frequent in the food allergy diagnosis group with 27.1% (95% CI,15.8-38.5%) compared with wheat, corn and peanuts P < 0.05.
A total of 140 APT tests were made, 105 were positive with the next distribution: soybeans 53.3% (95% CI,43.8-62.8%), peanut and chocolate both with 50.5% (95% CI,40.9-60,.0). This finding was sustained in patients with atopic dermatitis with soybean 55.6% (95% CI,36.8-74.3) compared to egg yolk. Sensitization to soybeans was most common in children aged 1 to 5 years old with 52.1% (95% CI,40.6-63.6) compared to rice and egg yolk P < 0.05. A different distribution was found for the 6 to 10 years old aged group: peanut 41.9% (95% CI,27.1-56.6) compared with egg yolk P < 0.05.
Milk is the most common food-allergen found by prick-to-prick in children independent of age or allergic diagnosis, with statistical significant difference, when compared to other food-allergens, in the group of food-allergy diagnosis and in the 1 to 5 years old age-group. Soybean is the most common food-allergen found in atopy patch test in the groups <1, 1 to 5 and >11 years old, independent of atopy related diagnosis, with statistical significant difference, when compared to other food-allergens in the group of atopic dermatitis and in the 1 to 5 years old age-group. For the 6 to 10 years old group peanut was the most common food-allergen found by APT, independent of atopy related diagnosis
PMCID: PMC3513170
7.  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
8.  Clinical study of peanut and nut allergy in 62 consecutive patients: new features and associations. 
BMJ : British Medical Journal  1996;312(7038):1074-1078.
OBJECTIVE--To investigate clinical features of acute allergic reactions to peanuts and other nuts. DESIGN--Analysis of data from consecutive patients seen by one doctor over one year in an allergy clinic at a regional referral centre. SUBJECTS--62 patients aged 11 months to 53 years seen between October 1993 and September 1994. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES--Type and severity of allergic reactions, age at onset of symptoms, type of nut causing allergy, results of skin prick tests, and incidence of other allergic diseases and associated allergies. RESULTS--Peanuts were the commonest cause of allergy (47) followed by Brazil nut (18), almond (14), and hazelnut (13). Onset of allergic symptoms occurred by the age of 2 years in 33/60 and by the age of 7 in 55/60. Peanuts accounted for all allergies in children sensitised in the first year of life and for 82% (27/33) of allergies in children sensitised by the third year of life. Multiple allergies appeared progressively with age. The commonest symptom was facial angioedema, and the major feature accounting for life threatening reactions was laryngeal oedema. Hypotension was uncommon. Of 55 patients, 53 were atopic--that is, had positive skin results of tests to common inhaled allergens--and all 53 had other allergic disorders (asthma, rhinitis, eczema) due to several inhaled allergens and other foods. CONCLUSIONS--Sensitisation, mainly to peanuts, is occurring in very young children, and multiple peanut/nut allergies appear progressively. Peanut and nut allergy is becoming common and can cause life threatening reactions. The main danger is laryngeal oedema. Young atopic children should avoid peanuts and nuts to prevent the development of this allergy.
PMCID: PMC2350892  PMID: 8616415
9.  Variably severe systemic allergic reactions after consuming foods with unlabelled lupin flour: a case series 
Lupin allergy remains a significant cause of food-induced allergic reactivity and anaphylaxis. Previous work suggests a strong association with legume allergy and peanut allergy in particular. Both doctors and the public have little awareness of lupin as an allergen.
Case presentation
Case 1 was a 41-year-old Caucasian woman without previous atopy who developed facial swelling, widespread urticaria with asthma and hypotension within minutes of eating a quiche. Her lupin allergy was confirmed by both blood and skin tests. Her lupin sensitivity was so severe that even the miniscule amount of lupin allergen in the skin testing reagent produced a mild reaction.
Case 2 was a 42-year-old mildly atopic Caucasian woman with three episodes of worsening urticaria and asthma symptoms over 6 years occurring after the consumption of foods containing lupin flour. Blood and skin tests were positive for lupin allergy.
Case 3 was a 38-year-old Caucasian woman with known oral allergy syndrome who had two reactions associated with urticaria and vomiting after consuming foods containing lupin flour. Skin testing confirmed significant responses to a lupin flour extract and to one of the foods inducing her reaction.
Case 4 was a 54-year-old mildly atopic Caucasian woman with a 7 year history of three to four episodes each year of unpredictable oral tingling followed by urticaria after consuming a variety of foods. The most recent episode had been associated with vomiting. She had developed oral tingling with lentil and chickpeas over the previous year. Skin and blood tests confirmed lupin allergy with associated sensitivity to several legumes.
Lupin allergy can occur for the first time in adults without previous atopy or legume sensitivity. Although asymptomatic sensitisation is frequent, clinical reactivity can vary in severity from severe anaphylaxis to urticaria and vomiting. Lupin allergy may be confirmed by skin and specific immunoglobulin E estimation. Even skin testing can cause symptoms in some highly sensitive individuals. The diagnosis of lupin allergy in adults may be difficult because it is frequently included as an undeclared ingredient. Better food labelling and medical awareness of lupin as a cause of serious allergic reactions is suggested.
PMCID: PMC3943371  PMID: 24529316
Anaphylaxis; Food labelling; Gluten-free spaghetti; Lupin allergy; Oral allergy
10.  The Study of Egg Allergy in Children With Atopic Dermatitis 
Food allergy plays a significant pathogenic role among children with atopic dermatitis (AD).
The aims of this study were to evaluate allergy to egg in these children and determine the egg specific immunoglobulin E (IgE) cutoff point.
Design and Setting
It was a cross-sectional study that took place at Immunology, Asthma and Allergy Research Institute from 2005 to 2007.
Children younger than 14 years old with AD entered the study. Careful medical histories were taken and skin prick and Immuno-CAP tests with the most commonly offending foods (cow's milk, egg, wheat, peanut, and soy) were performed. Children with a clear, positive history of food allergy and a positive IgE-mediated test or those with positive responses to both IgE-mediated tests were determined to have food allergies. The egg-specific IgE level cutoff point was determined.
A hundred patients entered the study (from 2 months to 12 years old). They were divided into 3 age groups: first <2 years, second from 2 to <6 years, and third from 6 to 14 years. The most common food allergens were egg (39.22%) in the first, cow's milk (35.13%) and egg (32.43%) in the second, and peanut (25%) and egg (16.67%) in the third group. The egg-specific IgE cutoff point value was 0.62 kUA/L (kilounits of allergen-specific IgE per liter). The positive predictive value was 95%.
Prevalence of egg allergy is highly significant in patients with AD.To use egg-specific IgE level cutoff point, the patient population under study must be considered.
PMCID: PMC3650957  PMID: 23283060
egg allergy; atopic dermatitis; food allergy; specific IgE cutoff point
11.  Early Life Eczema, Food Introduction, and Risk of Food Allergy in Children 
The effect of food introduction timing on the development of food allergy remains controversial. We sought to examine whether the presence of childhood eczema changes the relationship between timing of food introduction and food allergy. The analysis includes 960 children recruited as part of a family-based food allergy cohort. Food allergy was determined by objective symptoms developing within 2 hours of ingestion, corroborated by skin prick testing/specific IgE. Physician diagnosis of eczema and timing of formula and solid food introduction were obtained by standardized interview. Cox Regression analysis provided hazard ratios for the development of food allergy for the same subgroups. Logistic regression models estimated the association of eczema and formula/food introduction with the risk of food allergy, individually and jointly. Of the 960 children, 411 (42.8%) were allergic to 1 or more foods and 391 (40.7%) had eczema. Children with eczema had a 8.4-fold higher risk of food allergy (OR, 95% CI: 8.4, 5.9–12.1). Among all children, later (>6 months) formula and rice/wheat cereal introduction lowered the risk of food allergy. In joint analysis, children without eczema who had later formula (OR, 95% CI: 0.5, 0.3–0.9) and later (>1 year) solid food (OR, 95% CI: 0.5, 0.3–0.95) introduction had a lower risk of food allergy. Among children with eczema, timing of food or formula introduction did not modify the risk of developing food allergy. Later food introduction was protective for food allergy in children without eczema but did not alter the risk of developing food allergy in children with eczema.
PMCID: PMC3281290  PMID: 22375277
12.  Food allergy in Asia: how does it compare? 
Asia Pacific Allergy  2013;3(1):3-14.
Asia is a populous and diverse region and potentially an important source of information on food allergy. This review aims to summarize the current literature on food allergy from this region, comparing it with western populations. A PubMed search using strategies "Food allergy AND Asia", "Food anaphylaxis AND Asia", and "Food allergy AND each Asian country" was made. Overall, 53 articles, published between 2005 and 2012, mainly written in English were reviewed. The overall prevalence of food allergy in Asia is somewhat comparable to the West. However, the types of food allergy differ in order of relevance. Shellfish is the most common food allergen from Asia, in part due to the abundance of seafood in this region. It is unique as symptoms vary widely from oral symptoms to anaphylaxis for the same individual. Data suggest that house dust mite tropomysin may be a primary sensitizer. In contrast, peanut prevalence in Asia is extremely low compared to the West for reasons not yet understood. Among young children and infants, egg and cow's milk allergy are the two most common food allergies, with prevalence data comparable to western populations. Differences also exist within Asia. Wheat allergy, though uncommon in most Asian countries, is the most common cause of anaphylaxis in Japan and Korea, and is increasing in Thailand. Current food allergy data from Asia highlights important differences between East and West, and within the Asian region. Further work is needed to provide insight on the environmental risk factors accounting for these differences.
PMCID: PMC3563019  PMID: 23403837
Food Allergy; Asia; West; Epidemiology; Prevalence; Shellfish
13.  436 Ten Years Follow up of Japanese Survey on Immediate Type Food Allergy 
The food labeling system for food allergens was introduced from April 2002 in Japan. To confirm the effectiveness of the system, we regularly conduct a nationwide food allergy survey every 3 years.
The survey was conducted in cooperation with over 1000 volunteer doctors in Japan at 2001+2002, 2005 and 2008. We have sent questionnaires to contributing doctors every 3 months based on the previous survey system, and contributing doctors were asked to report immediate type food allergy cases seen by those doctors. In this survey, immediate type food allergy was defined as the patients who had developed symptoms due to food allergic reaction within 60 minutes after intake of causative foods. The details of questionnaire consisted of age, sex, cause of food allergy, symptoms, antigen-specific IgE, and type of onset.
A total of 8581 immediate type food allergy cases were reported by the doctors in these surveys. The most common causative foods were hen's egg (39.0%), milk products (18.0%), wheat products (9.4%), fruits (5.3%), crustacean (4.6%), peanuts (3.7%), fish egg, buckwheat and fish (3.6%). The most common clinical symptom was observed on skin (89.7%) followed by respiratory system (29.6%). Interestingly, the causes of food allergy were completely different from infancy (egg, milk, and wheat) to adulthood (wheat, crustacean and fruits). Anaphylactic shock was observed in 10.9% of the total reported cases. The cases of anaphylactic shock were due to hen's egg (27.1%), milk products (21.4%) and wheat (18.1%). Eleven percentages of patients had been hospitalized.
We could clarify the detail of the immediate type food allergy cases seen in Japan for a recent decade. Based on these data, countermeasures against food allergy have been conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan in order to improve quality of life of patients with food allergy.
PMCID: PMC3512981
14.  493 The Prevalence of Food Allergy in Children under 2 Years in Three Cities in China 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S173-S174.
To estimate the prevalence and clinical features of food allergy in children aged 0 to 2 years.
From January to February, 2009 and January to May, 2010, all well-infants and young children between the age of 0-2 years attending routine health visits at the Department of Primary Child Care, in Chongqing, Zhuhai and Hangzhou were invited to participate the study. Parents completed questionnaires and all children were skin prick tested to a panel of 10 foods (egg white, egg yolk, cow milk, soybean, peanut, wheat, fish, shrimp, orange and carrot). Based on the results of SPT and medical history, the subjects should undergo the suspected food elimination and oral food challenge under medical supervision. Food allergy was confirmed by the food challenge test.
There were 1,687 children recruited by the consent of their parents. Of 1,687 children approached, 1,604 (550 for Chongqing, 573 for Zhuhai and 481 for Hangzhou) fulfilled the study criteria for diagnosing food allergy. 100 children were confirmed to have challenge-proven food allergy in 3 cities (40 for Chongqing, 33 for Zhuhai and 27 for Hangzhou). The prevalence of food allergy in 0 to 2 years old children in Chongqing was 7.3%, in Zhuhai was 5.8% and in Hangzhou was 5.5%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of food allergy in children under 2 years among the 3 cities, and the average prevalence for food allergy in children under 2 years was 6.2%. Egg was the most common allergen, followed by cow milk.
The prevalence of food allergy in 0 to 2 years old children in China was 5.5% to 7.3%. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of food allergy in children under 2 years among the 3 cities. Egg was the most common allergen, followed by cow milk.
PMCID: PMC3512627
15.  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
16.  441 Patterns of Food Allergens in Kenyan Children 
The World Allergy Organization Journal  2012;5(Suppl 2):S157-S158.
To determine the patterns of food allergens in children presenting to pediatric gastroenterology clinic at the Aga Khan University Hospital, Nairobi.
This data includes children evaluated from March to November, 2010.All the children presenting for evaluation of various gastrointestinal symptoms and who had positive history of atopy in at least one first degree relative were included. History of reccurent cough was sought and the skin was examined for eczema. Skin Prick Test was perfomed by an expert in allergy and immunology. Prick to Prick Test was done for local foods where commercial antigens were not available. Positive tests were followed by an exclusion and rechallenge progamme but this was excluded from analysis due to poor compliance. Analysis was performed to determine frequencies and associations of the different gastrointestinal symptoms and food allergens. Both skin Prick and Prick to Prick results were analysed together.
The commonest food allergens in order of frequency were cow milk (65%), egg (35%), beef (26%), beans (14%), chicken, corn, wheat, soya and rice (9%), fish (8%) and peanut (5%).Common local infant complementary foods including potatoes, bananas and vegetables all tested positive in 4% of the children. Pumpkin tested positive in one infant who had presented with rectal bleeding. Majority of the children had positive tests to multiple foods. Only 14% of the children had negative tests. The commonest gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms were abdominal pain (38%), constipation (36%), vomiting (14%), diarrhoea (11%), failure to thrive (9%) and colics (3%). Majority of the children had multiple GI symptoms. Eczema and cough were associated symptoms in 9% and 3% of the children respectively.
The prevalence of food allergy as suggested by this study is high in Kenyan children and contributes signficantly towards gastrointestinal morbidity. While cow milk, egg and beef are the commonest allergens, the emerging allergy to local infant complementary foods is also significant. The high frequency of multiple allergens partly contributed to poor compliance in the exclusion rechallenge programme due to lack of options on alternative foods.
PMCID: PMC3512893
17.  Diagnosis and management of food allergies: new and emerging options: a systematic review 
It is reported that 6% of children and 3% of adults have food allergies, with studies suggesting increased prevalence worldwide over the last few decades. Despite this, our diagnostic capabilities and techniques for managing patients with food allergies remain limited. We have conducted a systematic review of literature published within the last 5 years on the diagnosis and management of food allergies. While the gold standard for diagnosis remains the double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge, this assessment is resource intensive and impractical in most clinical situations. In an effort to reduce the need for the double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge, several risk-stratifying tests are employed, namely skin prick testing, measurement of serum-specific immunoglobulin E levels, component testing, and open food challenges. Management of food allergies typically involves allergen avoidance and carrying an epinephrine autoinjector. Clinical research trials of oral immunotherapy for some foods, including peanut, milk, egg, and peach, are under way. While oral immunotherapy is promising, its readiness for clinical application is controversial. In this review, we assess the latest studies published on the above diagnostic and management modalities, as well as novel strategies in the diagnosis and management of food allergy.
PMCID: PMC4216032  PMID: 25368525
skin prick testing; oral challenge; specific IgE; component testing; oral immunotherapy; epinephrine autoinjector
18.  Demographic Predictors of Peanut, Tree Nut, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame Allergy in Canada 
Journal of Allergy  2011;2012:858306.
Background. Studies suggest that the rising prevalence of food allergy during recent decades may have stabilized. Although genetics undoubtedly contribute to the emergence of food allergy, it is likely that other factors play a crucial role in mediating such short-term changes. Objective. To identify potential demographic predictors of food allergies. Methods. We performed a cross-Canada, random telephone survey. Criteria for food allergy were self-report of convincing symptoms and/or physician diagnosis of allergy. Multivariate logistic regressions were used to assess potential determinants. Results. Of 10,596 households surveyed in 2008/2009, 3666 responded, representing 9667 individuals. Peanut, tree nut, and sesame allergy were more common in children (odds ratio (OR) 2.24 (95% CI, 1.40, 3.59), 1.73 (95% CI, 1.11, 2.68), and 5.63 (95% CI, 1.39, 22.87), resp.) while fish and shellfish allergy were less common in children (OR 0.17 (95% CI, 0.04, 0.72) and 0.29 (95% CI, 0.14, 0.61)). Tree nut and shellfish allergy were less common in males (OR 0.55 (95% CI, 0.36, 0.83) and 0.63 (95% CI, 0.43, 0.91)). Shellfish allergy was more common in urban settings (OR 1.55 (95% CI, 1.04, 2.31)). There was a trend for most food allergies to be more prevalent in the more educated (tree nut OR 1.90 (95% CI, 1.18, 3.04)) and less prevalent in immigrants (shellfish OR 0.49 (95% CI, 0.26, 0.95)), but wide CIs preclude definitive conclusions for most foods. Conclusions. Our results reveal that in addition to age and sex, place of residence, socioeconomic status, and birth place may influence the development of food allergy.
PMCID: PMC3236463  PMID: 22187574
19.  Nutritional Aspects in Diagnosis and Management of Food Hypersensitivity—The Dietitians Role 
Journal of Allergy  2012;2012:269376.
Many common foods including cow's milk, hen's egg, soya, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and wheat may cause food allergies. The prevalence of these immune-mediated adverse reactions to foods ranges from 0.5% to 9% in different populations. In simple terms, the cornerstone of managing food allergy is to avoid consumption of foods causing symptoms and to replace them with nutritionally equivalent foods. If poorly managed, food allergy impairs quality of life more than necessary, affects normal growth in children, and causes an additional economic burden to society. Delay in diagnosis may be a further incremental factor. Thus, an increased awareness of the appropriate procedures for both diagnosis and management is of importance. This paper sets out to present principles for taking an allergy-focused diet history as part of the diagnostic work-up of food allergy. A short overview of guidelines and principles for dietary management of food allergy is discussed focusing on the nutritional management of food allergies and the particular role of the dietitian in this process.
PMCID: PMC3485989  PMID: 23150738
20.  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
21.  A case of anaphylaxis to peppermint 
Anaphylaxis, a form of IgE mediated hypersensitivity, arises when mast cells and possibly basophils are provoked to secrete mediators with potent vasoactive and smooth muscle contractile activities that evoke a systemic response. We report a case of IgE mediated anaphylaxis to peppermint (Mentha piperita) in a male shortly after sucking on a candy.
Case presentation
A 69 year old male developed sudden onset of lip and tongue swelling, throat tightness and shortness of breath within five minutes of sucking on a peppermint candy. He denied lightheadedness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, or urticaria. He took 25 mg of diphenhydramine, but his symptoms progressed to onset of cough, wheeze and difficulty with talking and swallowing. He was rushed to the nearest emergency department, where he was treated with intramuscular epinephrine, antihistamines and steroids. On history, he reported recent onset of mouth itchiness and mild tongue and lip swelling after using Colgate peppermint toothpaste. He denied previous history of asthma, allergic rhinitis, food or drug allergies. His past medical history was remarkable for hypercholesterolemia, gastroesophageal reflux and gout. He was on simvastatin, omeprazole, aspirin, and was carrying a self-injectable epinephrine device. He moved to current residence three years ago and cultivated mint plants in his backyard. He admitted to develop nasal congestion, cough and wheeze when gardening. Physical examination was unremarkable apart from slightly swollen pale inferior turbinates. Skin prick test (SPT) was strongly positive to a slurry of peppermint candy and fresh peppermint leaf, with appropriate controls. Same tests performed on five healthy volunteers yielded negative results. Skin testing to common inhalants including molds and main allergenic foods was positive to dust mites. Strict avoidance of mint containing items was advised. Upon reassessment, he had removed mint plants from his garden which led to resolution of symptoms when gardening.
IgE mediated anaphylaxis to peppermint is rare. This case demonstrates a systemic reaction to a commonly consumed item, incapable of triggering anaphylaxis in the far majority of the population, yet causing a severe episode for our patient.
PMCID: PMC3912937  PMID: 24472564
Anaphylaxis; Peppermint; Menthol; IgE mediated
22.  Distinct parameters of the basophil activation test reflect the severity and threshold of allergic reactions to peanut 
The management of peanut allergy relies on allergen avoidance and epinephrine autoinjector for rescue treatment in patients at risk of anaphylaxis. Biomarkers of severity and threshold of allergic reactions to peanut could significantly improve the care for patients with peanut allergy.
We sought to assess the utility of the basophil activation test (BAT) to predict the severity and threshold of reactivity to peanut during oral food challenges (OFCs).
The severity of the allergic reaction and the threshold dose during OFCs to peanut were determined. Skin prick tests, measurements of specific IgE to peanut and its components, and BATs to peanut were performed on the day of the challenge.
Of the 124 children submitted to OFCs to peanut, 52 (median age, 5 years) reacted with clinical symptoms that ranged from mild oral symptoms to anaphylaxis. Severe reactions occurred in 41% of cases, and 57% reacted to 0.1 g or less of peanut protein. The ratio of the percentage of CD63+ basophils after stimulation with peanut and after stimulation with anti-IgE (CD63 peanut/anti-IgE) was independently associated with severity (P = .001), whereas the basophil allergen threshold sensitivity CD-sens (1/EC50 × 100, where EC50 is half maximal effective concentration) value was independently associated with the threshold (P = .020) of allergic reactions to peanut during OFCs. Patients with CD63 peanut/anti-IgE levels of 1.3 or greater had an increased risk of severe reactions (relative risk, 3.4; 95% CI, 1.8-6.2). Patients with a CD-sens value of 84 or greater had an increased risk of reacting to 0.1 g or less of peanut protein (relative risk, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.3-2.8).
Basophil reactivity is associated with severity and basophil sensitivity is associated with the threshold of allergic reactions to peanut. CD63 peanut/anti-IgE and CD-sens values can be used to estimate the severity and threshold of allergic reactions during OFCs.
PMCID: PMC4282725  PMID: 25567046
Basophil activation test; peanut; peanut allergy; threshold; severity; sensitivity; CD63; CD203c; CD-sens; double-blind; placebo-controlled food challenge; CD63 peanut/anti-IgE, Ratio of the percentage of CD63+ basophils at 100 ng/mL of peanut extract to the percentage of CD63+ basophils after stimulation with anti-IgE; CD-sens, Basophil allergen threshold sensitivity; DBPCPC, Double-blind, placebo-controlled peanut challenge; EC50, Half maximal effective concentration; LEAP, Learning Early About Peanut Allergy; PA, Peanut allergy; PE, Peanut extract; SPT, Skin prick test
23.  Manifestations of food protein induced gastrointestinal allergies presenting to a single tertiary paediatric gastroenterology unit 
Food protein induced gastrointestinal allergies are difficult to characterise due to the delayed nature of this allergy and absence of simple diagnostic tests. Diagnosis is based on an allergy focused history which can be challenging and often yields ambiguous results. We therefore set out to describe a group of children with this delayed type allergy, to provide an overview on typical profile, symptoms and management strategies.
This retrospective analysis was performed at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. Medical notes were included from 2002 – 2009 where a documented medical diagnosis of food protein induced gastrointestinal allergies was confirmed by an elimination diet with resolution of symptoms, followed by reintroduction with reoccurrence of symptoms. Age of onset of symptoms, diagnosis, current elimination diets and food elimination at time of diagnosis and co-morbidities were collected and parents were phoned again at the time of data collection to ascertain current allergy status.
Data from 437 children were analysis. The majority (67.7%) of children had an atopic family history and 41.5% had atopic dermatitis at an early age. The most common diagnosis included, non-IgE mediated gastrointestinal food allergy (n = 189) and allergic enterocolitis (n = 154) with symptoms of: vomiting (57.8%), back-arching and screaming (50%), constipation (44.6%), diarrhoea (81%), abdominal pain (89.9%), abdominal bloating (73.9%) and rectal bleeding (38.5%). The majority of patients were initially managed with a milk, soy, egg and wheat free diet (41.7%). At a median age of 8 years, 24.7% of children still required to eliminate some of the food allergens.
This large retrospective study on children with food induced gastrointestinal allergies highlights the variety of symptoms and treatment modalities used in these children. However, further prospective studies are required in this area of food allergy.
PMCID: PMC3828665  PMID: 23919257
24.  Characterization of food allergies in patients with atopic dermatitis 
Nutrition Research and Practice  2013;7(2):115-121.
We examined the characteristics of food allergy prevalence and suggested the basis of dietary guidelines for patients with food allergies and atopic dermatitis. A total of 2,417 patients were enrolled in this study. Each subject underwent a skin prick test as well as serum immunoglobulin E (IgE) measurement. A double-blind, placebo-controlled food challenge was conducted using milk, eggs, wheat, and soybeans, and an oral food challenge was performed using beef, pork, and chicken. Food allergy prevalence was found among 50.7% in patients with atopic dermatitis. Among patients with food allergies (n = 1,225), the prevalence of non-IgE-mediated food allergies, IgE-mediated food allergies, and mixed allergies was discovered in 94.9%, 2.2%, and 2.9% of the patients, respectively. Food allergy prevalence, according to food item, was as follows: eggs = 21.6%, milk = 20.9%, wheat = 11.8%, soybeans = 11.7%, chicken = 11.7%, pork = 8.9% and beef = 9.2%. The total number of reactions to different food items in each patient was also variable at 45.1%, 30.6%, 15.3%, 5.8%, 2.2%, and 1.0% for 1 to 6 reactions, respectively. The most commonly seen combination in patients with two food allergies was eggs and milk. The clinical severity of the reactions observed in the challenge test, in the order of most to least severe, were wheat, beef, soybeans, milk, pork, eggs, and chicken. The minimum and maximum onset times of food allergy reactions were 0.2-24 hrs for wheat, 0.5-48 hrs for beef, 1.0-24 hrs for soybeans, 0.7-24 hrs for milk, 3.0-24 hrs for pork, 0.01-72 hrs for eggs, and 3.0-72 hrs for chicken. In our study, we examined the characteristics of seven popular foods. It will be necessary, however, to study a broader range of foods for the establishment of a dietary guideline. Our results suggest that it may be helpful to identify food allergies in order to improve symptoms in patients with atopic dermatitis.
PMCID: PMC3627928  PMID: 23610604
Food allergy; atopic dermatitis; non-IgE-mediated allergy; IgE-mediated allergy
25.  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

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