Cross-sensitization between milk proteins: Reactivity to a "Kosher" epitope?

Yitzhak Katz, Michael R. Goldberg, Galia Zadik-Mnuhin, Moshe Leshno, Eli Heyman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Immunoglobulin E-mediated allergy to cow's milk protein represents a major problem for infants who are not breast fed. A search for substitute milks revealed a cross-allergenicity to milk derived from goat and sheep but not to milk from a mare. We noted that the cow, goat and sheep species are both artiodactyls and ruminants, defining them as kosher animals, in contrast to the mare. Objectives: To determine whether patients with IgE-mediated cow's milk allergy are cross-sensitized to milk from other species such as the deer, ibex, buffalo, pig and camel. Methods: Patients with a clinical history consistent with IgE-mediated cow's milk protein allergy were tested by skin-prick test to validate the diagnosis. They were then evaluated by skin-prick test for cross-sensitization to milk-derived proteins from other species. Results: All patients allergic to cow's milk tested positive by skin-prick test for cross-reactivity to deer, Ibex and buffalo (n=24, P = 0). In contrast, only 5 of the 24 patients (20.83%) tested positive to pig milk and only 2 of 8 (25%) to camel's milk. Cross-sensitization to soy milk was noted in 4 of 23 patients (17.39%), although they all tolerated oral ingestion of soy-containing foods. Conclusions: A significant cross-sensitization to milk proteins derived from kosher animals exists in patients allergic to cow's milk protein, but far less so compared to the milk proteins from non-kosher animals tested. Patients with proven IgE-mediated allergy to cow's milk can utilize the above findings to predict suitable alternative sources of milk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-88
Number of pages4
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Volume10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Kosher animals
  • Milk allergy
  • Skin prick test

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