The pattern of sesame sensitivity among infants and children


Dr Ilan Dalal, Department of Pediatrics, E. Wolfson Medical Center, Holon 58100, Israel
Tel.: 972 3 5028310
Fax: 972 3 5028421


Recently, we found sesame to be a major cause of severe IgE-mediated food allergic reactions among infants and young children in Israel. The purpose of this study was to describe the different patterns of sesame sensitivity. We have identified three subgroups among our patients (n = 32). Group I (n = 23, M/F; 14/9) consisted of cases with IgE-mediated sesame allergy. The mean age of the first allergic reaction was 11.7 months. Although the main clinical manifestation was urticaria/angiedema (n = 14, 60%), anaphylaxis was the presenting symptom in seven (30%) patients; all of them were younger than 1 year. Sixteen (70%) were found to be allergic to other foods, and other atopic diseases were identified in 18 (78%) patients. Three patients ‘outgrew’ their allergy within 1–2 years. Group II (n = 2) included cases in whom sesame allergy was ruled out based on a negative skin prick test (SPT) together with a negative open oral challenge. Group III (n = 7) consisted of patients that were found to be SPT positive for sesame as part of a screening for other food allergies. Although sesame products have become fashionable in westernized countries, early exposure may cause sesame to share eventually the same ‘noteriety and fate’ as peanut – a major cause of severe food allergic reactions.