Allergy to banana in a 5-month-old infant


Dr Álvaro Moreno-Ancillo, Unidad de Alergia, Hospital Virgen Del Puerto, Po de Valcorchero s/n, 10600 Plasencia (Cáceres) Spain


Food proteins can sensitize the infants via different sources. A 5-month-old boy suffered three episodes of generalized urticaria 20 min after the ingestion of a fruit purée containing apple, banana and orange. Skin testing showed positive results to banana and chestnut. Other tests were negative. The value of specific immunoglobulin E (Pharmacia CAP-FEIA, Uppsala, Sweden) to banana was 58 KU/l, to orange was 9.7 KU/l, to chestnut was 5.6 KU/l and to latex was 1.6 KU/l. Orange, apple and latex products were well tolerated. He never had eaten chestnut. The parents rejected a banana challenge test. The route of sensitization in our case might be via placenta, breast-milk, and inadvertent oral intake of food or even via inhalation. An early frequent exposure to banana allergens was considered a possibility factor for the development of banana sensitization. We found that the banana consumption during pregnancy and lactation by the mother of our patient was greater than usual. It is not frequent to find so high levels of sensitization to any fruit in first year of life. In our case, latex, chestnut and orange sensitizations did not seem to be clinically relevant. However, latex and foods known to cross-react with banana antigens should be given to banana-sensitive individuals with great caution.