Food allergy to peanuts in France–evaluation of 142 observations


Moneret-Vautrin Service de Médecine D, Médecine Interne, Immunologie Clinique et Allergologie, 29 avenue de Lattre de Tassigny, 54035 Nancy Cedex, France.



The increase in frequency of peanut allergy and fatal cases have been reported.


The objective of this study is to document the severity of food allergy to peanuts by evaluating the reactive dose of peanuts and to search for the role of peanut oil.


This study is carried out on the basis of 142 observations collected according to the same diagnostic methodology in two allergy centres in France. Skin-prick-tests were performed with peanut powder, peanut oil and peanut oil proteinic extract. Labial provocation tests were performed on 121 patients. The reactive dose of peanuts and the role of peanut oil were determined by standardized oral provocation tests in 50 and 62 patients respectively. The data are computerized and the data bank includes 509 food allergic patients.


Allergy to peanuts represents 28% of food allergies and occurs under 1 year of age in 46% of cases, under 15 years of age in 93%. The clinical features were atopic dermatitis (40%), angioedema (37%), asthma (14%), anaphylactic shock (6%) and digestive symptoms (1.4%). The specific IgE were class 3 or higher in 80% of cases. The total reactive dose was less than 100 mg in 25% of cases, from 100 mg to 1 g in 62.5%. All patients reacted to a dose of less than 7.1 g. The threshold of peanut reactivity was lower than the threshold of egg reactivity. An allergy to peanut oil was demonstrated in 14 patients.


The severity of peanut allergy and the early onset of the occurrence of this allergy is documented. The role of residual allergenic proteins in peanut oil is established by positive skin-prick tests to proteic extracts from peanut oil and by double-blind placebo- controlled challenges to peanut oil. The increased consumption of allergens in the form of peanut oil and fats can contribute to the occurrence or persistence of symptoms and may be suspected to increase the risk of sensitisation.