FREQUENCY OF COMMON FOOD ALERGENS AMONG PATIENTS REFERRED TO A TERTIARY CARE CENTER
Objective: To identify and determine the frequency of different food allergens among subjects having symptoms of food allergy.
Study Design: Cross-sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Immunology department, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, from Jan 2015 to Dec 2015.
Methodology: A total number of 149 patients, who were referred to department of Immunology with different symptoms of food allergy were included in this study. Food allergen specific IgE antibodies were done by immunoblot assay using kit from Euroimmun Medizinischelabor diagnostika AG Germany (India panel).
Results: Out of total 149 patients, 72 (48.3%) were males and 77 (51.7%) females. The age of patients was in the range of 5 years to 82 years. Total 56 (37.6%) patients [31 males (43%) and 25 (32%) females] showed positive reactions to 18 food allergens out of 20 in the test panel. Most common food allergens in our patients were related to seafood, crab 39 (70%), prawns 26 (46%), followed by potato 14 (25%) and ginger 9 (16%) respectively. Other common allergens were cow milk 6 (10%), peanut 5 (9%), apple 5 (9%), egg yolk 4 (7%), mustard 4 (7%) and soya bean 4 (7%). Our study showed no reaction to rice and coconut food allergens.
Conclusion: Our study focused on the frequency of food allergens in our population. In this study crab and prawns were the commonest food allergens whereas rice, coconut, Peanut and tree nut allergies are rare in our population whereas in western world, Peanut and tree nut allergies are more common. Efforts must be made to increase the availability of tests for food allergy and standardization of the procedures along with identification of risk and protective factors within the region.