Food Allergy is a topic covered in the Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics.

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Basics

Description

Food allergy has recently been defined as “an adverse health effect arising from a specific immune response that occurs reproducibly on exposure to a given food.” Most commonly, the protein component of the food is responsible for the adverse immunologic response.

  • Classifications of food allergies:
    • IgE mediated, including
      • Anaphylaxis
      • Acute urticaria
      • Oral allergy syndrome
    • Non–IgE mediated (cell mediated), including
      • Food protein–induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES)
      • Food protein–induced allergic proctocolitis
      • Celiac disease
    • Mixed IgE and non–IgE mediated, including
      • Atopic dermatitis
      • Eosinophilic gastroenteropathies (eosinophilic esophagitis, eosinophilic gastroenteritis)
  • Most common IgE-mediated food allergies:
    • Children
      • Milk
      • Egg
      • Soy
      • Peanut
      • Wheat
      • Fish
    • Adults
      • Peanuts
      • Tree nuts
      • Fish
      • Shellfish
  • Most common non–IgE-mediated food allergies associated with food protein enterocolitis and proctocolitis:
    • Milk
    • Soy
    • Rice
    • Oat
    • Barley
    • Chicken

Epidemiology

Food-induced anaphylaxis is the most common cause of anaphylactic reactions treated in emergency departments in the United States. The prevalence of food allergy has increased over the past 10–20 years.

Prevalence

  • 5% of children <5 years of age, 4% of teens and adults
  • Nearly 2.5% of infants have hypersensitivity reactions to cow’s milk during 1st year (½ of these cases are thought to actually represent GI diseases); outgrown by most (80%) by 5 years of age.
  • 1.6% have egg allergy by 2.5 years (based on population-based studies); 66% of children outgrow egg allergy by 7 years of age.
  • 0.6% of U.S. population have peanut allergy.
  • 37% of children < 5 years of age with moderate to severe atopic dermatitis have a food allergy.
  • 34–49% of children with food allergy have asthma.
  • 33–40% of children with food allergy have allergic rhinitis.
  • Fatal and near-fatal reactions are associated with uncontrolled asthma.

Risk Factors

  • Genetic
  • Family history
  • Presence of atopic dermatitis
  • Other unknown factors suspected

Etiology

  • Oral tolerance to food proteins believed to develop through T-cell anergy or induction of regulatory T cells. Food hypersensitivity develops when oral tolerance fails to develop or breaks down.
  • IgE mediated: T cells induce B cells to produce IgE antibodies that initially bind on the surface of mast cells and basophils; when reexposed, the food protein binds to IgE antibodies, leading to degranulation of those cells and release of histamine and other chemical mediators.
  • Non–IgE mediated (cell mediated): T cells react to protein-inducing proinflammatory cytokines, leading to inflammatory cell infiltrates and increased vascular permeability. These factors lead to subacute and chronic responses primarily affecting the GI tract.
  • Mixed IgE and non–IgE mediated: Eosinophilic esophagitis and eosinophilic gastroenteropathy are characterized by eosinophilic infiltration of intestinal wall, occasionally reaching to serosa.

Commonly Associated Conditions

  • Asthma (4-fold more likely)
  • Allergic rhinitis (2.4-fold more likely)
  • Other atopic diseases
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis (celiac)

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Citation

* When formatting your citation, note that all book, journal, and database titles should be italicized* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - ELEC T1 - Food Allergy ID - 14140 Y1 - 2015 PB - Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics UR - https://im.unboundmedicine.com/medicine/view/Select-5-Minute-Pediatric-Consult/14140/all/Food_Allergy ER -